October 23, 2014
Final Reports
San Mateo Courts - Civil Grand Jury

SAN MATEO COUNTY RESPONSE

Recommendation 1.1:

The county should undertake a program to inform all eligible entities about the system, of their option to use the system, and of the prices available to users.

RESPONSE: Agree. On July 6, 2000, the Grand Jury sent 37 letters to various cities and school districts to inform them of the County's vendor agreement purchasing program, seven (7) agencies responded and to date six (6) are using the County's vendor agreement program.

We propose the following actions to inform all eligible entities about the system:

  1. Attend a meeting of the City/County Managers and Financial Officers Group
  2. Meet with the County Superintendent of Schools to decide the best way to disseminate information to school districts in the County.
  3. Send information to special districts. .

    STATUS: EPS Director Mary Welch attended a meeting of the City/County Managers on March 16, 2001 and described the Vendor Agreement Purchasing Program. Various information was distributed, including: cost comparison of selected commodities, list of vendors and commodities that are included in this program, two sample vendor agreements (Office Depot and Sierra Springs Water) and application form to join the program.

At the meeting it was agreed that information would be sent to the City Finance Directors, which was done in August 2001. To date, the following cities have enrolled in the Vendor Agreement Purchasing Program: Belmont, Brisbane, San Bruno, Redwood City, South San Francisco, Daly City, Atherton, Hillsborough and Millbrae.

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Floyd Gonella suggested that information on the Vendor Agreement Purchasing Program be sent to him for distribution by him to the 24 superintendents of schools in the County. Information on the Vendor Agreement Purchasing Program was sent to Dr. Gonella on August 30 and included the following: cost comparison of selected commodities, list of vendors and commodities that are included in this program, two sample vendor agreements (Office Depot and Sierra Springs Water) and an application form to join the program.

To date, the following school districts have enrolled: San Mateo Union High School District and San Mateo-Foster City School District.

Information on the Vendor Agreement Purchasing Program was sent to 28 special districts on September 5, 2001, which included: cost comparison of selected commodities, list of vendors and commodities that are included in this program, two sample vendor agreements (Office Depot and Sierra Springs Water) and an application form to join the program.

Four special districts have enrolled as follows: West Bay Sanitary District; Montara Sanitary District; Sam Trans and Highlands Recreation District.

Recommendation 1.2:

The County should review its procurement of those items that others local governmental bodies are buying at prices lower than the master contract prices.

RESPONSE: Agree. However, when the County contacted the Grand Jury to identify those agencies which indicated lower pricing on selected commodities than the County's pricing, the Grand Jury stated that the they were unable to release this information as they promised confidentiality to the agencies that responded to the survey. We will explore the feasibility of establishing an e-mail group with cities and interested school districts to share and ensure the best pricing on commodities.

Quarterly updates will continue to be provided.

STATUS: All cities, school districts, and special districts have been notified in writing that the County wants to know if any agency has obtained better pricing on any commodities than we have in our Vendor Agreement Purchasing Program. To date, we have not learned of any instance in which another agency has secured lower pricing. An e-mail group will be established if we are contacted by any agency.

Recommendation 1.3:

The Board of Supervisors should revise its procedures to assure that documentation relevant to procurement items submitted for its approval are complete and correct and to ensure that any request to waive the use of an RFP is justified in order for the public to be assured of the best possible contract conditions.

RESPONSE: Concur. The Board of Supervisors directs the County Manager and his staff to review current procurement procedures and practices to ensure that future contract submissions contain the required documentation and that future RFP requests are adequately justified.

There will be no further report back.

© 2014 Superior Court of San Mateo County