Council to consider $1.7m in no-bid contracts

New Hampshire’s Executive Council is expected to vote on spending $1.7 million on 18 no-bid contracts when it meets today in Warren.

It will be the first meeting since NHBR published its most recent report on such “sole-source” contracts, which totaled $107 million last year — a sixfold increase from six years ago. For the first six months of 2009, no-bid contracts accounted for about 10 percent of the total number of contracts approved by the council.

Today, 18 of the 119 items on the council’s agenda are labeled as sole source.

The largest would be let by the Department of Environmental Services — two contract extensions of $355,400 to Concord engineering firms to conduct environmental site assessments and cleanup planning at brownfields sites. They would go to Sanborn, Head and Associates Inc. (bringing that total contract size to $2.7 million) and Nobis Engineering Inc. (increasing that contract to $1.6 million).

Close behind is a $340,000 contract extension by the Department of Revenue for Real Data Inc. of Manchester for computer software maintenance, reporting and technical assistance, increasing the total of that contract to $1.5 million.

The largest sole-source to a non profit would be a $300,000 extension awarded by the Department of Health and Human Services to Easter Seals of Manchester to continue providing support services to New Hampshire military families and military members deployed or returning from combat. That would increase the total of the contract to $1.5 million.

But the sole-source contract that may raise the most interest is an $8,300 contract extension awarded by the Department of Employment Security to SymbioSys Solutions Inc. of Nashua for additional maintenance and support services of the agency’s Web-based Enhanced Remote Initial Claim Application. That would bring SymbioSys’ total contract to $285,000. The agency has been plagued by computer problems in switching over to the new Web-based system.

The largest new sole-source contract to a private company: The McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center is proposing a $9,000 contract with Louis Karno & Company LLC for marketing services. — BOB SANDERS/NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESS REVIEW

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