Council committee OKs bidding on 'managed competition' contracts - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Council committee OKs bidding on 'managed competition' contracts

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A City Council committee on Wednesday agreed to let contractors bid on street sweeping and customer service work as part of an effort to cut operating costs.

By approving the scope of work, members of the Rules Committee forwarded the proposals by Mayor Jerry Sanders to the full City Council.

City employees can also bid on the work, and city officials said public employees frequently outbid private industry in what city officials call "managed competition," a process approved by voters five years ago.  

The mayor's office declined to make public specifics about the numbers of employees or amount of money involved, saying it might skew bids. That drew the ire of Councilwoman Marti Emerald, who questioned how public information could be hidden.

"The process is too rushed and too sensitive for me," said Emerald, who cast the lone dissenting vote against the customer service proposal.

Councilman Kevin Faulconer reminded his colleagues that the city has yet to award a managed competition contract.

"It's hard for me to say this has been rushed when voters approved it in 2006," Faulconer said.

Bidding for the work will likely occur late this year. The city has similar plans for its printing operations and management of its fleet of about 4,000 vehicles.

Councilman Tony Young, the chairman of the committee and president of the council, said it was time to move forward, and there were enough stopping points ahead should that become necessary.

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