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Subject: Manager for the HOA
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Author Messages
AlexM1
(Oklahoma)

Posts:242


04/09/2018 8:09 AM  
I can not find this in any of the documents... We had four companies bidding on a project we want for the complex. Those companies submitted their proposals. The manger came one day and wanted to look at the proposals.... that manager took the proposals... went outside of the area and met with a contractor (supposedly a contractor that the manager wanted)...came back an hour later and said that that company(do not know who it was) had submitted a lower bid... This is certainly unethical but is it illegal? Should the Board meet with the individuals who submitted their bids and present the bid from the Manager's preferred company and let the bidding take off again?
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:15954


04/09/2018 8:35 AM  
The Board decides who to award the contract to.
The lowest price should not always be the one who is awarded the contract.
The Board needs to look at other projects that the companies have done, and talk to those references.
Some good questions for references:

How quickly did the company respond to issues after they were discovered?
Was a foreman on site each day and, if applicable, did they listen to your concerns and address them?


I would suggest contacting all four and set up a meeting with each contractor and the board to discuss the project.
Have questions handy based on their proposals.
Do not meet all of them on the same day unless there are several hours between meetings (this is simple courtesy.



Is sharing costs prior to awarding the contract unethical? In my opinion, yes unless you (the board made a decision and are bargaining because you prefer a different company). For example: When we bid out our trash service, we liked our current contractor. However, there was one bid that was 10K lower. We asked the current contractor if they would match, otherwise the contract would be awarded to a different company.

Is sharing costs illegal - probably not unless you stipulated the bids would be sealed. In that case, an argument can be made that you made a contract when soliciting bids not to share.

Keep in mind that if companies find out that their bids were used to negotiate with another company for a lower price vs. actually considered for the contract, then word will get around and the Association may find fewer companies willing to bid in the future.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:2349


04/09/2018 2:47 PM  
Posted By TimB4 on 04/09/2018 8:35 AM
Keep in mind that if companies find out that their bids were used to negotiate with another company for a lower price vs. actually considered for the contract, then word will get around and the Association may find fewer companies willing to bid in the future.

Yep. Been there, done that. Two years ago our landscaping committee solicited 3 bids for some tree work. The 2 members of the landscaping committee were very friendly with "Joe" who owned "Joe's Tree Service". One of the bids came in a lot lower than Joe's and the committee took that number to Joe who agreed to match it.

The company whose low bid didn't get the job found out about that arrangement (which I consider sleazy and unethical) to steer work to the committee's friend via bid rigging, which is illegal in some places.

A couple of months ago we needed to solicit more bids for more tree work. The owner of the company that didn't get the job 2 years ago came as far as the front gate, rememberd who he was dealing with, and turned around and left. "Thanks but no thanks" he emailed us.
BenA2
(Texas)

Posts:531


04/10/2018 6:25 PM  
If the manager supplied information to one bidder and not the others and then accepted a lower bid, the manager should be fired and that contractor should be disqualified. What he did defeats the whole purpose of the bidding process. I think it is probably illegal but every state has different laws.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:5656


04/10/2018 6:28 PM  
I agree with Ben.
AlexM1
(Oklahoma)

Posts:242


04/10/2018 6:32 PM  
Interesting... I just happened to ask a lawyer that question today and his reply was.... after some thought and cringing face, he said that it is not illegal... but highly unethical.

KerryL1
(California)

Posts:5656


04/10/2018 7:08 PM  
So, Alex, will your board fire the manager? And what will it do about the contract? What did your lawyer recommend?
AlexM1
(Oklahoma)

Posts:242


04/10/2018 7:25 PM  
Attorney said it was unethical but not illegal...I just do not agree with that but I did ask him today.
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Forums > Homeowner Association > HOA Discussions > Manager for the HOA



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