Does Augusta's Procurement Department need improvement?

News 12 at 6 o'clock / Thursday, April 4, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- A local lawyer says the City of Augusta's Procurement Department needs work. Augusta Attorney Robert Mullins wrote a journal about how the department could be improved.

Some city leaders don't plan to make any changes.

Is the public contract law journal fact or fiction?

"It's not an effective remedy for a disappointed bidder in Augusta, which is what the article goes into," Mullins said.

"The author of this article has been the major person that's done that and profited from it," said City Administrator Fred Russell.

Mullins has represented 10 cases against the city for its procurement practices. Mullins says he's lost some cases, settled and been able to bring a small form of change. He says this journal is about ways to keep the city procurement department out the courtroom.

"The way the system is set up, it allows whoever is sitting in the Procurement Department to make some mighty big decisions that affect all of us," Mullins said.

"There are several groups outside the government that want to run the government. Nobody is going to run me on the outside or the inside," said Commissioner Marion Williams.

The Public Law Journal is 400 pages long and it's full of what is supposedly not being done right.

Some city leaders say it's pure fiction.

"I'm not reading that, and I'm not going to entertain that at all," Williams said.

"They need to learn what the word public servant means. They bend to the people's will," said community activist Woody Merry.

Merry hand-delivered the journal and is requesting that city leaders make some changes or else.

Russell says the procurement practices are constantly reviewed and only one contractor wins in the end.

"The bottom line in this case is there is a winner and more losers than that. It's just the reality of how it works," Russell said.


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