School bidding called too wasteful

Charleston's school district is spending an extra $400,000 in the name of "quality work" on the $18 million new North Charleston Middle school. This large chunk of money (roughly 2 percent more than the lowest bid) has some asking if the district erred.

It's a result of the Charleston County School District using a "one-step process" and not a two. The Post and Courier points out:

In a two-step process, contractors' technical plans are evaluated and those rated acceptable or better may then submit a price bid on the job. The lowest bid wins the contract, he said.

A one-step process is different, and that's what happened with the new North Charleston middle school. Contractors are evaluated on two criteria: the technical aspects of their plans — such as their approach, their team and prior performance — and their price.

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