No-bid college food service deals | Arkansas Blog

No-bid college food service deals

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A reader sends a most interesting story.

It's about a college that failed to take bids for a campus food service contract, instead extending an arrangement with Aramark in return for a contribution to a foundation that paid for football stadium improvements. It's unconstitutional, article says.

An audit also raised questions about the university's president being paid money after leaving his job for which no services were rendered. Sort of like a contract buyout gives money for not working.

No, the story is not in Arkansas, but Missouri, though it has a familiar ring, doesn't it? UCA, in fact, is mentioned in the article I've linked above. It notes that Arkansas law doesn't require bidding on auxiliary services such as food service and bookstores.

UPDATE: A higher education legislative committee had quite a bit of discussion today about no-bid contracts. As told to me, college presidents defended the practice while some legislators took a sharply different view. The theory is that some unqualified contractor might get a job with a low-ball bid. More likely, somebody without proper political connections or understanding of how to apply grease properly might get it.

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