A clarification by the California Energy Commission (CEC) may have broad impact on the procurement process associated with stimulus-funded LED streetlight initiatives, especially those that have been “sole sourced.”
In response to a number of requests for clarification on bidding and procurement guidelines for the federally funded Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program, the CEC issued a clarification statement and referred award recipients to the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations for additional information. According to the CEC, “Because EECBG grants are federally funded, federal procurement requirements apply, not just California state procurement requirements.”
John Sugar, CEC manager of special projects, said “Recipients of EECBG awards need to follow the strictest guidelines available when awarding projects, and in this case, federal procurement requirements equal or surpass those of California.” Sugar also stated that it appears that federal requirements do require an open and competitive bidding process and that in most cases “sole sourcing” will not be permitted unless an exceptionally strong case can be made as to why a competitive bid was not possible.
Full details of federal procurement guidelines are available here.