No-bid pact is protested

December 10, 1992|By Staff Report

A competitor opposing the no-bid award of a $49 million ken contract to current Maryland lottery computer vendor GTECH Corp. filed a new protest yesterday with the lottery director.

The protest requests that Director William F. Rochford halt work on the new state-run gambling enterprise.

Scott A. Livingston, a lawyer representing the Catonsville-based Advent Technology Inc., charged in a letter of protest that there was "no legitimate basis" for making the keno deal with GTECH on a sole-source, emergency basis.

Gov. William Donald Schaefer proposed the game in September as part of his plan to eliminate an estimated $450 million budget deficit.

"Private negotiations with the incumbent contractor, in our view, cannot substitute for open competition," Mr. Livingston wrote.

He added that in approving the contract, the state Board of Public Works "undermines the integrity of the state procurement system."

Advent, which protested before the board's vote that the company had not been given an opportunity to bid, challenged the action of the lottery agency and public works officials and said work should be held up while the protest is pending.

"For reasons best known to itself, the lottery agency has made a deal hastily" with GTECH, which is based in West Greenwich, R.I.," the letter said.

"It seems the governor's public announcement of the state's immediate needs undermined the state's negotiating position, whereas the law calls for open competition."

NB Saying that state law prohibits implementation of the keno con

tract pending resolution of both Advent protests, Mr. Livingston also requested copies of all documents developed by the lottery agency and GTECH in reaching the conclusion that the computer contractor "has offered a fair market price for its proposed work."

Lottery spokesman Carroll H. Hynson Jr. said he could not comment on the complaint before the protest is reviewed by the agency's counsel.

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