LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--For the third time in less than two years, a judge on the Superior Court of the State of California has found that the County of Los Angeles has yet again violated the law and ‘abused its discretion’ in awarding a no-bid contract to a vendor without competitive bidding or a competitive negotiation as required by law. In response to a petition seeking a Writ of Mandate filed by AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) over the award of another no-bid contract by L.A. County, a California State Court has found “…that the County abused its discretion in forgoing the competitive bidding and negotiation processes because it did not make an adequate determination that contracting though competitive bidding was not feasible,” in its award of a contract for Transitional Case Management for Youth (TCMY) services to Realistic Education in Action Coalition to Foster Health (REACH).
“County officials should have learned by now: the third time is not the charm,” said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “The County of Los Angeles has once again been caught breaking the law and abusing its discretion by illegally handing out single-source, no-bid contracts to vendors without adhering to the legally required competitive bidding and negotiation processes. County officials continue to squander the public trust in cases that would never have been brought if the County simply followed the law in the first place.”
This latest Court ruling against the County underscores the County’s ongoing practice of illegally handing out no-bid, single source contracts. Last year, the Superior Court of the State of California twice found that L.A. County’s Department of Health Services violated the law by illegally awarding a $75 million ‘no-bid’ contract to a favored vendor for pharmacy benefits management services without competitive bidding or a competitive negotiation. In the cases, the Court awarded AHF a total of nearly $400,000 in legal fees.
In his ‘Decision and Order Granting in part, and Denying, in Part, Writ of Mandate,’ issued March 7, 2014, Honorable Luis A. Lavin, Judge of the Superior Court wrote:
“In sum, the County abused its discretion in executing the REACH contract through a noncompetitive process. Quite simply, the County has not demonstrated that pursuing the contract through competition was not feasible. However, in accord with the equitable nature of the mandate remedy, the Court finds that immediate termination of the REACH contract is not in the public interest.
“In its written REACH Contract Request, the County justifies its decision to pursue REACH without conducting a competitive bidding process by stating that it believed that REACH was the only qualified organization to provide TCMY services. (Exhibit 89:24) In the request, the County admits that it considered and researched other providers who serve youth through case management programs; however, the County does not explain why this process could not have been conducted though competitive bidding. (Exhibit 89:24)”
“Judge Lavin also notes that the County was unable to explain why it was not feasible to vet and rule out the other considered providers through a competitive bidding process, as opposed to relying on the County’s independent and noncompetitive determination that its chosen vendor was the only qualified provider for this case management services contract,” added AHF’s Weinstein. “This is another example of how Los Angeles County officials mismanage their duties and taxpayer money by impermissibly awarding tens of millions in contracts to favored vendors without following the law, something that must cease immediately.”
About AIDS Healthcare Foundation
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to more than 289,000 individuals in 32 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe. To learn more about AHF, please visit our website: www.aidshealth.org, find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth and follow us on Twitter: @aidshealthcare.