OASIS Mailing List ArchivesView the OASIS mailing list archive below
or browse/search using MarkMail.


Help: OASIS Mailing Lists Help | MarkMail Help



   RE: RE: RE: [xml-dev] Great piece on RSS

[ Lists Home | Date Index | Thread Index ]

It is case by case, Elliotte.  Some will 
sue and protest, others take their lumps 
and move on.   Take note that in public 
safety, we are selling to the governments 
(really, agencies who get their directions 
from their local councils).  Policies vary 
by locale.  I think the distinction I made 
to John is important:  to whom does the 
contract reserve rights.  Shrinkwrap is 
different from systems integration sales. 

We get into the odd position of having 
to sell integrated systems that we control 
(our own software) and systems that we 
have to assert work as advertised 
(operating systems).  In the second case, 
we take exception where possible and can 
because the customer names the operating 
system, so we can make it their responsibility.

And yes, if one protests a procurement, one 
incurs the wrath of the procurement officials. 
Much depends at that point on the politics of 
the local councils, etc.  If the bid was 
technically sound and protested on a nit, 
then the nitwit that protests doesn't do 
themselves much good.  OTOH, timing is everything. 
Protesting just before an election can give 
the council opponents fodder for their TV ads. 
Depending on the election results and how 
effective the smear was, the whole business 
is tainted and the CYA act gets emotional.

The example of failing to procure the lowest 
bid is illuminating; the opponent couples 
it to the failure to fund education and 
then the media is engaged to promote the 
perception of an insider deal that helps 
the official's brother to the detriment 
of the children.   Now the emotions are 
fully engaged and the forebrain is disengaged, 
and well... crap.   It takes some smooth 
talking to get them to remember that a cheaper 
system that is unreliable is far more 
dangerous to Everyone.  Again, frequency 
of statement and the membership of the 
hearer in an interpretive community are 
the key properties of rhetorical marketing.
This kind of thing is a nightmare but not 


-----Original Message-----
From: Elliotte Rusty Harold [mailto:elharo@metalab.unc.edu]

At 12:23 PM -0500 10/10/02, Bullard, Claude L (Len) wrote:
>This isn't new news.  Both are done.  One
>gathers opinions and contracts.   Remember,
>contracting is a formal process because of
>protests.  If one does things promiscuously,
>the bid results are protested.  Protests are
>expensive for the contracting parties and
>can result in rebids.  Now all of that money
>spent on process is lost and one has to start
>over in some cases.  In any case, the only
>benefits go to the lawyers.

I'm familiar with this scenario in the government. In fact, there 
it's routine. However, it does not match my experience of small 
private enterprises. In particular, whenever a company I worked for 
collected bids, it felt free to rule out the lowest bid for any 
reason ranging from they didn't trust the company with the lowest bid 
to the coincidence that the highest bid was submitted by the CEO's 
fraternity brother. The bidders took their lumps and moved on.

Is it different in the world of large, litigious corporations you 
seem to work in? For example, if Intergraph put out bids for long 
distance service to MCI, AT&T and Sprint, and eventually chose AT&T, 
would MCI or Sprint be likely to protest the result? I know that when 
the federal government puts out bids, such companies routinely 
protest and even sue when they lose, but I was under the impression 
the private sector was a little different; and that most people 
realized that whether they lost the bid fairly or unfairly, they

1. Had no right to sue over it.
2. Realized if they did sue, they'd never get any business from that 
company again.


News | XML in Industry | Calendar | XML Registry
Marketplace | Resources | MyXML.org | Sponsors | Privacy Statement

Copyright 2001 XML.org. This site is hosted by OASIS