By Bill Rusteberg
Acting as a fee based insurance consultant in managing a formal, public Request For Proposal process requires adherence to certain guidelines memorialized in statutes pertaining to political subdivisions.
What I have found over the years have been instances where “seasoned” consultants working primarily in the private sector simply don’t understand the nuances involved in pubic sector bidding although the principles pertaining to both are essentially the same.
Failure to adhere to these principles can create legal liability to both the consultant and the client they serve. In my estimation these failures are fairly common.
One example of properly setting up the parameters of a RFP process includes a Non-Disclosure Statement for all participants in the RFP evaluation process. Below is a sample Non-Disclosure Statement:
I, _____________________________________, the undersigned, hereby certify that the following statements are true and correct and agree to be bound by the commitments contained herein.
I am acting as a participant in the evaluation of the following request for proposal:
As a participant, I affirm that I, nor my spouse or dependent(s), are not receiving any compensation from, nor have I/they been the recipient of any present or future economic opportunity, employment, gift, loan, gratuity, special discount, trip, favor, or service in connection with any proposal or involved proposer in return for favorable consideration.
I have no preconceived position on the relative merits of any of the proposals, nor have I established a personal preference or position on the worth or standing of any proposer participating in this action.
I agree not to disclose or otherwise divulge any information pertaining to the contents, status, pricing, ranking, technical aspects, competitive range determinations, reports, or any other aspects of the proposals to anyone other than designated individuals.
I understand the terms “disclose or otherwise divulge” to included, but are not limited to, reproduction, discussion, and/or removal of any part or portion of any proposal from the designated area.
I understand that designated individuals include the ________________________Department or appropriate _____________________________ administrative staff determined to have authority over the procurement process.
Prior to the award of the contract, I will not be in discussion with any proposer, representative of a proposer, or any other individual not designated above.
Upon completion of the award and the information of the award is made available to the public, I am no longer bound by this statement, however, I am encouraged to be mindful of the extent to which discussion occurs outside the designated individuals.
I agree to perform any and all evaluations of said proposals in an unbiased manner, to the best of my ability, and with the best interest of the _____________________________ paramount in all decisions
A RFP process follows rigid protocols. There are experts we know, many former public purchasing managers with years of experience, who can assist political subdivisions in management and control of a RFP process. I can provide the reader with the names and contact information of the best in the industry. Write firstname.lastname@example.org