Competition and Costing: Indianapolis, IN – 1995 Innovations Winner
When the city of Indianapolis adopts a policy leading to head-to-head competition for contracts between public and private sector bidders, public departments such as the city’s motor vehicle maintenance facility find themselves in a brave new world. This case examines the point-by-point construction of the Indiana policy Fleet Services bid for the right to perform both routine and non-routine maintenance on the city’s motor vehicles and equipment, ranging from police cars to garbage trucks. It is designed to familiarize students with the process of understanding a public sector Request for Proposals (RFP) and developing a bid in response. It calls on students to understand the city's budget, its contractual relationship with organized labor, the potential use of employee merit pay and the variety of incentives, both for good or ill, that can arise by virtue of the way a contract is drafted. Thus the case is useful both for those interested in the public-private bidding process and for those interested in the drafting of public contracts.