Sioux Falls Internal Audit determines NON-RFP’s lack oversight and transparency


The recommendations of internal audit on NON-RFP’s shouldn’t surprise any of us;

Recommendation 1: We recommend updating EO 104 to reflect the current qualifications-based selection practices. We also recommend that updated verbiage provide significantly more detail outlining the procedural steps (soliciting proposals, vendor qualifications, staffing evaluation panels, documenting evaluation panel outcomes, and negotiating contract price/specifications) and documentation required to enhance internal controls, accountability, and consistency.

This applies to how the city hands out Architecture and Engineering design contracts (City spends about $10 million a year). When NOT using the tried and true system of RFP (Request for Proposal) things are kind of being done in the dark with NO paper trail;

Finding 1: EO 104 Language Out of Date.
• We found that Executive Order 104 lacked adequate, current detail to provide a uniform procedure for securing A/E professional services which is the purpose of the Executive Order. Additionally, some of the procedural language currently included is out of date with current practices. EO 104 refers to a guideline no longer available from the American Council of Engineering Companies of South Dakota.
Finding 2: Lack of Documentation for the Selection Process.
• We were unable to verify if several of the procedures for selecting A/E services were in compliance with EO 104, City policy, and best practices due to lack of supporting documentation stored with the contract in Munis. Documentation must be maintained to provide support and transparency for the QBS process to be in line with best practices.
Finding 3: Maintenance of Approved A/E Firms list does not comply with EO 104.
• Engineering currently does not maintain any qualification documents on the A/E firms selected for projects that don’t need to undergo an RFP. However, EO 104 states that, “It shall be the responsibility of the Engineering Department to establish and maintain an approved list of A/E firms that have submitted qualifications for each type of professional services that may be sought by the City of Sioux Falls. The selection of all services are to be limited to those firms on the approved qualified list.”

There is no list of NON-RFP qualified bidders, no paper trail (or at least one saved), no qualifications or requirements listed and no reference to the selection criteria. In other words this is entirely up to the administration as to who gets picked based on a secret process.

The council really needs to put their foot down and demand we eliminate the NON-RFP process for these contracts. It’s dark; figuratively and literally.

1 comment so far ↓

#1 Tony on 03.01.23 at 10:43 am

Great point, it is too easy to hand things to “friends” for the City of Sioux Falls. No other major city, or state agency, in SD does this.