To make certain that it conducts its competitive bidding process in a more transparent and fair manner, Irvine should, by December 2016, further clarify the manner in which an interview may factor into the decision regarding awarding a contract. Specifically, Irvine should include in its procedures whether an interview may change scores from an earlier phase of the proposal review process. Additionally, Irvine should include in the published RFP the details of how it will use interviews in its review process.
Although the City does not concede that the robust policies and procedures that were in place during the relevant timeframe were inadequate, the City has enhanced its procurement procedures and supporting documents. Recommendation 5 was implemented effective October 13, 2016, with a revised "Request for Proposals (RFP) Checklist." The RFP Checklist adds RFP provisions regarding how interviews will be used in the RFP process and clarifying that scoring from other phases of the RFP review process will not change if an interview is added. Specifically, on page 2, "RFPs that may include an interview process must state, 'The City reserves the right to conduct interviews with the highest rated firm or firms. In the event the City does perform an interview process, the additive weighting shall be __%.' When rating the firms, the various selection criteria weightings stated in the RFP document must not be adjusted." Note: Listed as Recommendation 3(c) in June 28, 2016 letter.
Although the City does not concede that the robust policies and procedures that were in place during the relevant timeframe were inadequate, the City has enhanced its procurement procedures and supporting documents. To further implement Recommendation No. 5, the City will clarify its uniform procedures for addressing interviews in RFPs so that bidders will better understand that they may be evaluated based on their performance during interviews. Recommendation 5 will be implemented by December 2016. Note: Listed as Recommendation 3(c) in June 28, 2016 letter.
Agency responses received are posted verbatim.