This letter is in response to a recent article in the Idaho Statesman titled “Otter, lawmakers unhappy with AG.” The article goes on to quote Gov. Butch Otter, saying that Mike Gwartney, with the state Department of Administration, had been given bad legal advice from a state deputy attorney general concerning the Idaho Education Network contract and that the AG said it was OK to bifurcate that contract. I find it ludicrous that the governor is pointing blame at the AG’s office. Bifurcating the contract (splitting it) is not really the issue. The real issue is that in the process of splitting the contract, Gwartney’s office decided to eliminate Syringa Networks from receiving any work. Syringa Network filed a lawsuit and won a judgment against the state of Idaho in the Idaho Supreme Court. The Supreme Court ruled that by splitting up the duties after the contract was awarded, the state DA was “in effect, changing the RFP (request for proposals) after the bids were opened.” The even larger “common sense” issue is, Why was Syringa eliminated when they had the lowest bid and were the most technically capable? The public deserves answers to these questions.
Rich McCrea, Boise