Steele's Competitive Bidding Resolution Was Ignored at RNC in 2011-2012 Election Cycle

Steele's Competitive Bidding Resolution Was Ignored at RNC in 2011-2012 Election Cycle

In July 2009, after Michael Steele took over as chair of the Republican National Committee, the 168 members of the RNC passed a “Resolution in Support of Good Governance” that required the chair to conduct competitive bids for all contracts that exceeded $100,000 in value. 

Steele apparently observed the resolution. Current RNC chair Reince Priebus appears to be ignoring it.

An investigation by Breitbart News has revealed that during the 2011-2012 election cycle, the RNC apparently granted lucrative consulting contracts without conducting a competitive bidding process, violating its own resolution.

Two reputable telemarketing vendors told Breitbart News that they were not given an opportunity to bid on RNC telemarketing contracts for 2011 and 2012. In fact, one vendor told us, “we couldn’t even get in the door for an appointment to make a pitch.”

Through other independent sources, Breitbart News has confirmed that the RNC failed to issue vendor Requests for Proposal (RFPs) in the vendor selection process in either 2011 or 2012. 

The issuance of RFPs is standard business practice for vendor selection in both the federal government and the private sector. RFPs are designed to ensure that the vendor understands what the customer wants and commits to the delivery of specific accomplishments by a specific deadline.

A nationally recognized advertising firm informed Breitbart News that it attempted to bid on RNC business, but there were no RFPs on which to bid and it could not secure a meeting with RNC personnel. The same story was confirmed by a separate, nationally recognized direct mail firm as well.

It is not clear whether the RNC’s resolution binds subsequent RNC chairs, including Priebus.

Steele believes it does.

“Why wouldn’t Reince Priebus want to observe the resolution?” he asked, speaking exclusively to Breitbart News. “If it was good enough for me, why isn’t it good enough for him? He was, after all, my General Counsel who advised me to support the resolution when it was introduced. As far as I know, the resolution doesn’t have a time stamp or a date stamp. It should be applicable to future chairmen unless it is otherwise repealed or modified.”

The terms of the 2009 resolution state that the chair may not be exempted from the competitive bidding process without “the authorization of a second officer of the RNC which shall include the Treasurer, Co-Chairman, or Secretary.”

RNC Treasurer Tony Parker, who campaigned two years ago on a pledge to run a “transparent operation,” declined to comment when reached by Breitbart News. He referred queries to RNC Director of Communications Sean Spicer.

Spicer likewise declined to answer questions in connection with the 2009 resolution and the apparent lack of competitive bidding in 2011 and 2012.


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