Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Approves No-Bid Contract for HIV/AIDS-Related Services
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted 3-2 to award a contract for HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment services to a not-for-profit group without seeking competing bids, the Los Angeles Times reports. The county Office of AIDS Programs and Policy recommended the contract award to the not-for-profit AltaMed.
A federal grant will fund the contract to encourage young Latino men who have sex with men to seek HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment services. The contract is valued at about $200,000.
John Schunhoff, chief operating officer of the county Department of Health Services, said county health officials had four weeks to submit a proposal to federal officials, which was not enough time to solicit other bids. Schunhoff said AltaMed was selected because the group has a history of providing quality HIV/AIDS-related services to Latino men.
However, county auditors are investigating allegations that AltaMed might not have provided adequate HIV/AIDS-related services under other contracts with the county.
Supervisor Gloria Molina asked county public health officials to avoid similar concerns in the future by allowing other groups to register for contract consideration.
In related news, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation on Friday filed a lawsuit against Los Angeles County, alleging that county officials allowed former county OAPP Director Chuck Henry to award contracts to groups with which he had relationships and "to punish those with which he did not," the Times reports.
In the lawsuit, AHF President Michael Weinstein said Henry ordered a series of "arbitrary and punitive and other programmatic audits" and made attempts to reduce county funding for AHF because Weinstein criticized the office.
County officials said the county awards contracts appropriately and declined to comment on the lawsuit, according to the Times (Leonard, Los Angeles Times, 6/1).