Helping our kids get more.
Advance2000 CFO Jad Maouad challenges the integrity of the Buffalo Public Schools’ bidding process for a contract to upgrade technology that would affect children in all 70 Buffalo Public Schools. Read more on Jad’s moral stance in his personal letter to the media below.
To: The Media
From: Jad Maouad
Governance by transparency is a key value of Advance2000, hence we would like to report the misconducts we have experienced with Buffalo Public Schools (BPS) bid process.
- BPS staff has been predetermining prior to the bid to favor a specific manufacturer by having that manufacturer’s specifications. This practice immediately disqualifies other vendors even though the alternative vendor products could be of greater benefit to the schools. This practice has been taking place for several years.
- AIS, the incumbent vendor for the past years, has been able to register with the specific manufacturer prior to the biding process, synonymous to insider trading on the NYSE. This gives AIS up to a 50% discount versus 25% for all other bidders involved in this bid opportunity.
- Due to Advance2000’s deep relationship with specific manufacturers and our significant volume purchasing capability, Advance2000 was able to obtain necessary discounts allowing us to aggressively bid and win the BPS bid.
- The mood at the bid opening for both BPS and AIS staff was shock when they discovered that Advance2000 had the lowest responsible bid price. Advance2000 had the winning bid.
- As a result, BPS staff resorted to a completely illegal practice. BPS staff initiated a best and final pricing after sharing the Advance2000 bid content with AIS and subsequently asked AIS to submit a number lower than the lowest responsible bidder (Advance2000 ).
According to Office of General Services of the State of NY (OGS), best and final is a discussion process that takes place between the bidding party and the lowest responsible bidder (Advance2000). We have yet to hear back from the BPS staff.
This misconduct is disheartening and sadly has been costing the district significantly more money. Writing bids to favor one manufacturer, having the incumbent vendor (AIS) preregister the opportunity prior to the bidding process, and initiating a kangaroo-style best and final without engaging the lowest responsible bidder is nothing other than unjust and collusive. This practice has been enabling AIS to go unchecked for years, overcharging the schools hundreds of thousands of dollars resulting in monies that the school system would have saved and invested in more meaningful ways. The AIS bid was $6,932,056 and the Advance2000 bid was $6,541,449. After receiving the Advance2000 bid, BPS staff shared the Advance2000 bid numbers with AIS resulting in AIS discounting their price to $6,106,401. We are still willing to provide our best and final that will be lower than AIS. Even so the entire process is unjust. Please keep in mind that AIS is and has been receiving a higher discount for years from the manufacturer than anyone else due to the insider trading described above in section 2.
Jad Maouad – Advance2000 CFO
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