Legal Department: RFP not required for construction, forensic audits
Cape Coral City Council can hire a firm or firms to conduct a construction and forensic audit without going through the “request for proposal” process, according to a legal opinion issued by the city attorney’s office.
City ordinance outlining how the municipality obtains professional services exempts auditing services from the public advertising and procurement requirement for services and goods over $50,000 and state statutes do not mandate the Cape go to RFP for this type of audit, the city’s legal department wrote.
“Based on the foregoing, it is this office’s opinion that the City Council may select a Construction Auditor or a Forensic Auditor without issuing a request for proposal due to the exemption stated in section 2-141(b)(13),” Assistant City Attorney Brian R. Bartos wrote in the March 4 opinion released Monday. “Of course, the Council has the option of utilizing a competitive selection process if it believes such a process would be in the best interests of the City.”
City Council sought the legal opinion last week after Mayor John Sullivan proposed to hire two firms, R. L. Townsend & Associates, Inc., and Kessler International, to conduct a combined construction/forensic audit of the Southeast 1, Southwest 4 and Southwest 5 components of the UEP.
Since the city has used the RFP process previously for these types of audits, the question was raised as to whether council could opt to bypass the process and hire these two firms, both of which have audited portions of the utility expansion project in the past.