Boise Dusts Off Rule To Award Cleaning Bid

Sylvia Hampel and Brenda Tate, owners of Clearview Cleaning, claim they have been contacted by clients expressing concerns about recent news reports about their firm and a contract dispute with Boise City. Hampel reiterated that she has no knowledge of any irregularities involving her staff or the company.

Saturday Hampel told the GUARDIAN she had several meetings with Boise administrative officials and on two occasions she was assured “This has nothing to do with you or your company.”

Boise City has awarded current cleaner ABM Industries a new one year cleaning contract–despite the fact ABM was a loser during the formal bidding procedure. They are apparently relying on a state law that allows local government to “piggyback” on various contracts if they hold a state contract.

The GUARDIAN is under the impression such contracts are for fixed price items such as tires, specific services, fuel, etc. It would seem difficult to allow one firm to get a cleaning contract just because they clean a state building–all the duties and services vary according to size, frequency, type of floor, etc. To allow such a vague “piggyback” would make the entire bidding process obsolete.

In 2010 Clearview Cleaning was named the “Small Business Of the Year” by the Boise Chamber of Commerce. In fact, she will share podium Tuesday with Mayor Dave Bieter at the Chamber’s “Small Business Expo” at the Center on the Grove.


Comments & Discussion

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  1. As someone who has sent construction bids into the city I’d like to see how this shakes out

  2. I suspect Boise City realized they get a kick back as a percentage of the overall contract with ABM Industries and dumped Clearview after the fact. It would be worth looking into the contract with ABM to see if this is true.

    This kind of contract kick back is becomming common in both government and private industry and is pedaled as a way to pay for “administrative expenses”. Another good idea cooked up by fiscal bean counters on both sides of purchasing contracts.

    A very good example is the “mandatory” purchasing contract with Grainger’s and Fastenal for all State of Idaho purchases of equipment, maintenence and fasteners. It is now mandatory for any State of Idaho employee to purchase the products they need from these two international corporations regardless of price up to $10,000.00.

    If your local dealer, member of BUY IDAHO, can sell you the same product, and provide service etc. cheaper than Graingers, it is still forbidden to make the purchase.

    The Idaho Dept. of Adminstration, under the mandatory purchasing contracts, gets 1.2% kick-back in cash from all state sales. The Dept. of Administration also sweetend the deal by raising the no bid purchasing allowance from $5k to $10k.
    This is all public infromation and you can view it on the Idaho Dept. of Administration Purchasing website. (until they take it down)
    This is a great example of giant corporations making it their way or the highway.

    Thanks to the Idaho Legislature, and the “free market” Republicans that own this state with Mr.”BUY IDAHO” Butch” Otter at the helm.

  3. Hopefully, when Sylvia and Brenda “share the podium” with bieter, they slap the living crap out of him! Dumping a local business for an out of state business, flies in the face of “Buy Idaho”. When the local business won out in competitive bidding and the city still goes with the out of stater, somebody needs to put the decision makers in the unemployment line!!

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