Friday, January 23, 2015

Official hints political motivation behind E-911 radio system vote

Knox County's top purchasing agent on Thursday suggested that the county's E-911 board declined to approve a contract to replace the area's outdated emergency broadcasting system because of political motivations.

His comments come a day after board members said they wanted a do-over after an evaluation team spent more than 18 months overseeing the bidding and negotiation process.

"I've been in this business for more than 25 years and the (Knox County Purchasing Department) director since 1998 and every once in a while there comes along an acquisition that lends itself to politics and political influence, and sometimes your natural inclination as a procurement (official) kicks in and you think: 'I don't think things are going to work out as they should,'" Hugh Holt told WBIR 10News on Thursday. "But, it's part of it and sometimes decisions aren't made about what's the best business decision."

Holt said "99 percent of the time, when you do everything right, you typically get the result you expect."

The purchasing director said he didn't take the board's decision personally, but that his department followed the county's procurement code, which the E-911 board adopted more than 20 years ago.

"There's 11 people on the board and there's 11 opinions, and the majority of them may not have seen what that (evaluation) committee saw and what I saw," he said. "The bid process was managed correctly and the proposals were fully vetted."

Full story RIGHT HERE.

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