Council chooses local supplier for computer purchase

BROCKTON – When all things are equal – or at least close to it – council decided priority should be given to downtown businesses over those in nearby communities.

The matter in question was the purchase of 21 computers. Staff had recommended purchasing them from the municipality’s current IT provider, MicroAge in Hanover, because MicroAge’s quote was the lowest, at $894 each.

Two other suppliers were asked to quote on the computers – Joy Source for Sports and HDTV (which does not sell computers and was thus unable to quote). The quote from Joy Source for Sports was $909.60 each. Council chose to go with that quote because it was from a Brockton business.

Coun. Kym Hutcheon said the price difference between the two quotes was small, and that the municipality should go with the Brockton business.

Coun. Tim Elphick agreed, saying when the price difference is so small, “why go outside for savings of about $325? We have a vendor in Brockton.”

Coun. Steve Adams cautioned that both businesses were asked to quote on the purchase, and one was lower. “If you’re not going to give business to a company, don’t ask for a bid.” He suggested if he were in that situation, he might not be inclined to bid again.

Coun. Dean Leifso backed Adams, saying it was a question of how to define “local.” He took a regional view, saying people live and work all over the area. He also said a “dangerous precedent” would be set by not going with the lowest quote. For him, the “tipping point” is that MicroAge will be servicing the computers.

It was noted the quotes were informal ones, not formal tenders.

When the matter was put to a recorded vote, only Adams and Leifso voted against purchasing from Joy Source for Sports at a unit price of $909.60, instead of MicroAge.

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