Hospital board ignores lowest bidder for security system

 
 
Published: 1/31/2009 12:05 AM

The Cook County Health and Hospital Board Friday approved an $868,000 security contract, even though it was roughly $30,000 more than the lowest bid.

Whitfield Security Service was chosen over the lowest bidder, Moore Security Service, administrators said, because Moore did not meet prevailing wage requirements. However, administrators have yet to specify exactly how Moore failed, even though the Daily Herald has been asking for details on the disqualification since at least Wednesday. Earlier, administrators had disqualified Moore on the allegation that the company did not meet minority business requirements, even though Moore is owned by a black woman. The county later admitted its error, but still maintains the company doesn't meet prevailing wage requirements, even though it was initially reviewed for that category and found to meet standards. Moore was re-reviewed and disqualified after the ultimate winning bidder, Whitfield Security Service, lodged a complaint.

In other board business Friday, several members of the public showed up to protest the board's recent decision to shift inpatient surgery from Oak Forest Hospital on the county's south side.

Administrators said they can more efficiently utilize surgeons by shifting inpatient surgery to Stroger Hospital, and shifting outpatient surgeons to Oak Forest. Critics say it leaves south suburban residents without adequate medical care.

Board member Andrea Zopp said given the extreme economic conditions, the board has to do more with less, and find savings through efficiencies if it is to survive. She said she was comfortable with the change. However, she did say the board and administrators hadn't done enough in communicating with the community before the change.