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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

And the bidders for performance auditor are...(not that it matters anymore)



You might have seen toward the bottom of Tuesday's Pinellas County school board meeting story that board members tossed out consideration of the only two bidders in their search for a performance auditor willing to examine the county's administrative costs.

According to district staff, both bids had flaws that left them ineligible for the job, at least as the job description was written in the district's request for proposals.

Still, in case you were wondering who applied and how much they said it would cost, we can tell you now.

Despite an early warning from board attorney Jim Robinson that new public record law made such bid proposals exempt from public record, Robinson advised the board waive the rule and instead discuss the bidders openly.

So, on Tuesday, they did, voting 6-0 to waive the exemption. And we're here to tell you that the two firms that bid were Gibson Consulting Group of Austin, Texas, and Crowe Horwath of Tampa. Gibson's proposal came in with a projected price tag of $28,278. Crowe Horwath said they could do it for $30,000 to $55,000, depending on exactly what the district wanted.

In the end, though, the board on Tuesday decided to wait until the Florida Association of District School Superintendents completes its audit of the district's administrative functions and costs before determining whether to move ahead with another request for proposals.

Superintendent John Stewart recommended the FADSS study in October and committed $20,000 from his superintendent's discretionary fund to pay for it. Board members on Tuesday questioned whether going ahead with a performance audit would result in a duplication of effort -- not to mention expense.

[Last modified: Wednesday, January 11, 2012 4:57pm]


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