West Basin Municipal Water District (“West Basin”) voted recently to encourage local businesses to compete for contracts with the agency. The idea to help local businesses was initiated by West Basin’s Finance Committee Chairperson and Director Gloria D. Gray.
This recent decision is part of West Basin’s commitment to the communities it serves. A business that is located within West Basin’s service area and who has been in business there for at least one year is eligible for a local business preference over businesses located outside of West Basin’s service area when bidding for work. The program will take effect July 1, 2008.
“This modification to West Basin’s procurement policy reaffirms our commitment to reach out to local businesses, show we appreciate their support, and provide them with even better customer service,” said Director Gloria D. Gray.
For purchase of supplies, goods and equipment, local businesses bids would be reduced by 3 percent of the purchase price solely for evaluation purposes. If, after this adjustment, the local business enterprise is determined to be the most qualified competitive bid, the actual contract amount will be the amount originally bid by the local business. For professional and non-professional services contracts over $25,000, the proposals will be evaluated on a 100-point scale where 3 points will be designated for businesses within West Basin’s service area.
A survey of other Southern California water agencies and cities revealed that such preferences are common among similar agencies throughout southern California.