The board questioned attorney Howard Downing whether or not it had to accept the bid because it was the lowest bid, and asked if the bid was an all-or-nothing bid or if instruments could be bought from various bidders.
"The statute in the procurement code does not restrict, it says that invitation for bids shall be made on the basis of lowest bid price or lowest evaluated bid price. If the lowest evaluated bid price is used to objective measurable criteria, the utilize shall be set forth in the invitation for bid," Downing said.
"In other words, you've got to put in there that you want a 7.2 bore Sousaphone for example. You can't say that you want a specific brand, because then only that brand maker could bid. So if someone else put a bid in then it is presumed they were submitting it on the specific," Downing added.
"This is like other bids such as milk. You get milk from one distributor but cheese from another because it is the lowest bid for cheese, and so on," Downing added.
Saylor said he had specifically written things into the specifications to insure the board would get the type instrument it wanted but the low bidder had not followed those guidelines.
"The quality of these things is not what we want. It must be measurable by the specs. A bore is measurable. I wrote something in every one of these, that was either a bore size or had an extendable key that we needed or silver plating, something to make it meet the criteria," Saylor said. "If I could be free to contact them immediately to be able to confirm my feelings about the quality of the instruments through their specs and be able to make whatever move we need to make."
After a long discussion about possible solutions to the problem, the board approved the lowest bid per category for each instrument, pending verification that they meet the required specifications.
Saylor said he contacted the low bidder Tuesday and received specs for the instruments it had submitted bid on.
"They sent me the specs and some met the requirements we specified and some did not," Saylor said. "We will purchase the ones from them that met the requirements and the rest will come from the other three bidders, so it will be spread out over all four."
Saylor said he thought the instruments would be in within the next few weeks.