...Free Enterprise So Much?
Yesterday, we noted that a laundry company (that may or may not be 'BC-based' as the press release says) that has donated six figures to various and assorted sundry BC Liberals over the years has been given a big hospital laundry contract in Kelowna in the wake of the BC Liberal government's latest privatization enterprise.
Interestingly, the contract is very long.
As in twenty years long, which surprised the heck out of me.
And then, our readers weighed in.
First came an Anon-O-Mouse with this:
10 years used to be the norm.
Here in Penticton the Mayor and council are hell bent on cutting 20 & 30 year NO BID deals for the commercialization of pristine waterfront parkland.
Which, later in the comment thread, was followed by this, from Clever Elephant proprietor Paul Ramsey:
...(T)he government has signed a number of 10-year information technology deals over the past 10 years, which is borderline insane given the pace of change in the field. (Would a deal signed in 2006 include resources for mobile web technology? No, because the iPhone hadn't been invented yet, but that same deal would still be running today.)
20 years for laundry doesn't have the same in-built innovation problem (unless I misunderstand the clothes washing technology field) but it has crazy implications for getting good competitive bids. For something as commodified as doing laundry, why wouldn't we go out to bid every couple years, to keep a healthy competitive ecosystem around pushing prices down. If you award all the work to one company over huge time intervals, eventually there won't be any viable competitors around when the contract comes out to re-bid...
I chewed on all of that for awhile (i.e. during geezer rock band practice last night while all the noodling went on looking for this year's 'new songs').
And then, as I was putting the pedals away later, at home, Paul's last sentence became a 10,000 pound crap-hammer that whacked me up the side of the head, hard:
"...If you award all the work to one company over huge time intervals, eventually there won't be any viable competitors around when the contract comes out to re-bid..."
Why the crap-hammer?
Because, if you recall, this was, essentially the strate(r)gy of the BC Liberal's original 990 year privatization sin right from the beginning.
If you get my drift.
And, thanks to readers NVG and Hugh for raising the red flag on the 'BC-based' thing.
My original pass at the BCL donations just used the company's name...This led to the number $127,980....Reader Lew added the company's CEO to the search...When you add that number to the first number the new number, based on the new math (i.e. A + B = C), is.... $138,700.