Dear Mr. Harbaugh:
Below please find the names of the vendors who responded to procurement number 900100-00012-RFP, responsive to your request made on 07/12/2017.
The office considers this be fully responsive to your request, and will now close this matter. Thank you for contacting the office with your request.
Turns out there’s a public records exemption for the full bids, if the public agency is still negotiating. I’ll get them eventually:
(6)(a) Notwithstanding ORS 192.410 to 192.505, proposals may be opened in a manner to avoid disclosing contents to competing proposers during, when applicable, the process of negotiation, but the contracting agency shall record and make available the identity of all proposers as part of the contracting agency’s public records after the proposals are opened. Notwithstanding ORS 192.410 to 192.505, proposals are not required to be open for public inspection until after the notice of intent to award a contract is issued. The fact that proposals are opened at a meeting, as defined in ORS 192.610, does not make the contents of the proposals subject to disclosure, regardless of whether the public body opening the proposals fails to give notice of or provide for an executive session for the purpose of opening proposals.
7/10/2017: Public records office stalls release of public bids on faculty discrimination study
Back in May UO sent out a “Request for Proposals to Conduct Salary Equity Study for the University of Oregon Tenured and Tenure-Track Faculty Ranks” as posted below. The bidding closed at 5PM on June 9th. After a decent and proper waiting period, on June 18th I made a public records request for the bids:
From: Bill Harbaugh <email@example.com>
Subject: PR request Salary Equity proposals
Date: June 18, 2017 at 10:25:52 PM PDT
To: Lisa Thornton <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Dear Ms Thornton –
This is a public records request for a copy of all bids submitted in response to:
RFP to Conduct Salary Equity Study for the University of Oregon Tenured and Tenure-Track Faculty Ranks,
UO General / Budget Control – 900100
UO Central Budget – 950001
PCS Administration – 431150
I ask for a fee-waiver on the basis of public interest.
On July 6th I followed up, and today I received this response:
Documents responsive to your public records request made 6/18/2017 are currently exempt under ORS 192.502 (9). You are welcome to resubmit your request once the procurement has been awarded.
Our office considers this to be fully responsive to your request and will now close this matter. Thank you for contacting the office with this request.
Really? If that’s true, they could have told me three weeks ago. But is it true? That section of ORS 192 is all about attorney-client privilege – not about bids on public contracts. A quick google search of the handy online version of the DOJ’s PR and PM Manual at http://www.doj.state.or.us/public_records/manual/public_records.shtml says that the bids are public, once bidding is closed:
Bids are confidential, but only prior to the close of the Invitation to Bid and the time set for bid opening. See ORS 279B.055(5)(a) and 279C.365(3)(c) and (4). Once bids have been opened, they are available for public inspection, except to the extent that the bidder has appropriately designated parts of the bid as trade secrets, which may then be exempt from disclosure under ORS 192.501(2), or as information submitted to a public body in confidence, which may be exempt under ORS 192.502(4). See ORS 279B.055(5)(c).
And bidding is unambiguously closed:
I’ve sent the PRO and GCO a request for clarification, on their exemption claim, and will post the response here.
5/16/2017: UO issues RFP for study of gender and racial discrimination
More on this later, this post is just a placeholder. The RFP is here. The main output looks like a simple regression, for which UO will provide the data. I’m no econometrician, but it’s about an hour’s work – maybe two if you look at time trends, instead of just the proposed 2017 snapshot. It will be interesting to see how much the consultants’ bids come in at: