Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The crow isn't sitting well in my tummy...it may come back up

A zombie reader tracked down the RFP that was initially issued in December of 2005 which led to a company being hired to find sponsorships for Carnival. I just read through it and it some blips appeared on my Zombie radar. Here is the RFP:


And here are the blips:

1. This RFP was initially issued to find and provide sponsorships for Carnival and create PSA's to subsequently promote Carnival. There was no mention of a full scale TV production in this RFP. Not a big deal...as the contract was issued with an extension clause for up to five years and the agency granted the contract was expected to advise the city on how to promote Carnival and get sponsorships. So once the company was contracted, they could have "advised" the city to launch the television extravaganza in order to increase the likelihood of getting sponsorships. Ok....I'll buy that. But...it's curious that the contract extension was issued for 5 years....the exact length of Nagin's second second term, were he to be re-elected. I'm curious if contracts are usually put out for that length of time?

2. These were the factors and ascribed "weight" each factor held in making the decision:

(40 %) Specialized experience and technical competence;

(25 %) Performance history, including, without limitation, competency, responsiveness, cost
control, work quality and the ability to meet schedules and deadlines;

(5%) Maintenance of an office, residence or domicile in Orleans Parish;

(10%) Willingness to promote full and equal business opportunities in accordance with the
City’s Disadvantage Business Enterprise Program; and

(20%) Cost.

Aside from the tilted 65% in the first two items, and I'm not sure how they are evaluating the second one considering they'd never worked with the company before this RFP.....there is a 20% cost factor. So that means the city is paying them from city funds to perform their services? It's not a completely commission based contract? Whazzup wit dat G? How much are we paying for this and from what budget is the money originating?

3. #8 Point of Contact....the subject line to Collins should be titled: subject line: Risk Management Proposal Question/Response.

Risk management? This may not be anything, but I associate the term risk management with insurance policies...are we funding this through an insurance settlement? Maybe a loss of business claim the city had or something of that nature? Or an emergency federal or state grant? I'm probably way off there, so someone help me out. I'm just curious why the header was to be titled risk management. The term actually appears in the lead paragraph as well. The first sentence defines the needed services as advertising and sponsorship acquistion services:

The City of New Orleans desires to engage an experienced firm or
company to render advertising and sponsorship acquisition services for the purposes of identifying
corporate sponsors for Mardi Gras 2006.

Then the final sentence says:

As provided below, and incident to City Charter Section 6-308(5), Executive Order CRN-05-1
including Written Exception to Executive Order CRN 05-01 and C. Ray Nagin “Protocols for
Procurement and Requesting State or Federal Emergency Assistance” as applicable, the City
requests proposals from experienced firms in risk management to provide the needed services.

That's just confusing to me...can anyone explain that?

4. This thing was issued on December 7th....the deadline for submission was December 15th. 8 days to put a proposal together. I'll buy the fact that we were (and still are) in desperate times....and Carnival was upon us. But 8 days isn't a lot of time...is that a normal amount of time for an average RFP?

5. The inital contract was for one year....with the option for extension:

This agreement may be extended at the option of the City, provided that funds are
allocated by the Council of the City of New Orleans and the extension of the agreement facilitates the
continuity of services provided herein.

So does Council of the City of New Orleans mean THE City Council? Did they vote to extend this contract?

And overall, I also found out in this process that Collins now has a new position in the administration...one which was just created out of thin air...Director of Tourism. Stephanie Dupuy has now moved into the Director of Arts and Entertainment position. So the mayor just created a new 50k+ (guessing on that, I'm sure it's more) position to promote Tourism when we already have two entities in the city (CVB and NOTMC) whose job it is to do just that? What qualified Collins for that position? Does he have any experience in marketing or tourism promotion? Did we just effectively add 50k+ to the city's expenses by creating a position we most likely don't need?

Why not appoint a Director of Street Light Repairs?


Anonymous said...

I have no answers to your rhetorical questions, but I encourage you to not let this go. Any RFP/contracts emanating from the Nagin administration need to be carefully scrutinized, f'sure.

Jason Brad Berry said...

Just for the record....those aren't rhetorical questions. They're very pragmatic and specific questions.

but yeah...this whole thing is fishy. I'm curious how many Local Ad agencies actually received this thing.

Anonymous said...

Dambala, I have a kind of "local control experiment group" idea floating around in my head.

I have a bunch of film friends, trying to make a film but of course in need of bucks. I remember there was talk about hiring lots of NOLA folks to accomplish this. I am emailing your posts to these guys. I told them to send Ciccarelli all their info and maybe they could get some work as stringer/shooters.

I'll be curious to see how many "local" people actually do get hired, and I'll be curious to see what the locals have to say about how this is being done.

The other thing I found bizarre in the contract was the miniscule (5%) weight given to local competitors for this contract. Seems like to me, but hey maybe I'm just NOLA chauvinistic, that that should have been given more weight.

George "Loki" Williams said...

I will greatly look forward to seeing what you have unearthed when we return from Dominica. Give me a buzz on the 8th after we get back and we'll d drinks. Don't think you've met the wife, have you?

Anonymous said...

Good researching. This stinks. So now Ernest Collins is a tourism expert? PLEASE! That sounds like a better way for him to get people to pay for his trips to Jamaica and wherever else without him having to threaten them for the cash. Sounds like Nagin smells the heat of Ernest's work with LIFT and other local companies in securing his financial future. There is another local company that I heard Ernest was in bed with (pun intended) that jumped ship and moved to Florida last year when some questions started being asked. But they still do business, so I'm sure EC still gets his check. I'm sure he's probably groomed Stephanie well to know who and why to give permits and who is a "team player" and who isn't in the city.

Anonymous said...

We need a 'AZ Greatest Hits' collection. Have you given any thought to posting your City-related unearthings of this type of stuff so that people can access it easier? I send people to the site to read about the Meffert and Ernest corruption and other oddities as we try and rebuild with a limited budget, but seem to have really deep pockets for those who don't need it, but the people I send always write me back saying they can't find it. I know you can by looking through the archives, but any thought to finding some way to have those old posts more accessible? I know a lot of folks who would love to read all of your stories that haven't been keeping up-to-date like the rest of us. The movement is growing and you're a big reason why. It's just a shame that the newcomers can't find all those postings more easily.

Jason Brad Berry said...

Anon two....Is that a Porn company that moved to Florida?

Jason Brad Berry said...


any project you do ...I'm interested in. let me know how i can help.

As for Ciccarelli...cut him a break. I think the guy is on the up and up. He's just doing a job and I actually trust his devotion to the city. I could be wrong but it's just a hunch.

But...yeah....IF they get sponsors for Carnival...I would expect them to hire locals for as much as they can. But I'm skeptical as to wether they can actually pull this off in the first place. It's not Ciccarelli's fault....I just think the city is in a bad way and the sponsors are going to be hard pressed to advertise or invest in something so fucked up as New Orleans is right now.

Let's hope for the best.

Jason Brad Berry said...

Anon # whatever,

I've found Steph Dupuy to be a person of integrity. I wouldn't throw her in the snakepit with Collins. I may be wrong, but she seems ok to me.

Jason Brad Berry said...

Anon # whatever # 2,

I'm working on a merger with Humid Haney and his Ultimate, Massive, Incredulous, super-hyper-coolio concept: HUMID BEINGS.

I will hope to port Zombie over to his world and have a tremendous amount of functionality which it currently doesn't have....Including a "Greatest Hits" or some similar manifesto.

Perhaps amibition will become reality. We'll see.


Jason Brad Berry said...


email me and let me know what you know about the company you referenced. I know a lot, but I'm not really sure it's pertinent to city funds. I would like more info though.


TravelingMermaid said...

Be sure to let us know when you slide over to HB.

Anonymous said...

I know Stephanie Dupuy and Ernest Collins as I worked with them both in the Mayor's Office of Economic Development prior to Katrina. Please do not put them in the same category. Stephanie is a woman of honesty, passion for her job and integrity. She is educated in film and built a career in film. Ernest has the right friends. I just found this site . . . love healthy discourse! Citizens have a right to question what's going on in City Hall.