Expired certifications from the State of New Mexico apparently led to approval of an $874,000 vehicle agreement between the Eddy County Sheriff’s Office and an Artesia automotive dealership, according to Eddy County’s Procurements Manager.
Guy Chevrolet submitted the highest bid for 20 new Sheriff’s patrol units. Two northern New Mexico car dealerships turned in lower bids, but were disqualified, wrote Anisia Cerna in a memorandum to the Eddy County Board of County Commissioners.
She said Eddy County sought bids March 17 and three sealed bids were opened April 7.
“Melloy Chevrolet was the lowest bidder (but) did not meet all of the mandatory specifications,” she wrote. “Although Tillery is the second lowest bidder, Guy Chevrolet had an active New Mexico Performance Certificate which placed them as the lowest bidder,” she wrote.
Guy Chevrolet met a 5 percent New Mexico Preference Certification threshold set by the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department (TRD), she noted in the memo.
Ten years ago, New Mexico companies or contractors who wanted a bidding advantage on state contracts were required to obtain a valid resident business certificate or resident contractor, per the TRD’s website.
“Five percent of the total weight of the all factors (were) used in evaluating the proposals and the equivalent of five percent of total points if the state contract is awarded on a point-based system,” the website noted.
Residential and tax information needs certification from a certified public accountant, cited TRD.
“All three bidders had New Mexico Preference but both Tillery and Melloy’s certificates expired at the time of opening,” according to Cerna.
County commissioners approved Guy Chevrolet’s bid April 19.
Eddy County Sheriff Mark Cage said the Sheriff’s Office normally received around 13 vehicles in a given year.
“These are Four-wheel drive patrol (Chevrolet) Tahoe’s. These are best suited for our overall needs,” he said.
Cage did not have a set delivery date for the new patrol units. He said vehicle production shortages in 2021 hampered vehicle acquisitions by the Eddy County Sheriff’s Office.
“We are told that production is getting much better (in 2022),” he said.
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