"Largest PERS contract ever" still up for grabs?

Thursday, March 22, 2007

On Thursday, March 22, Security Systems News reported that New York Protective Merchants Company and its monitoring division, Nationwide Digital Monitoring, had been awarded the “largest PERS contract ever,” getting that information from New York Protective Merchants Company. Upon further reporting, “They have not been awarded the contract,” said Robin Berg, Director of the Bureau of New York City, Human Resources Administration. “We are still assessing bids and the contract has not been awarded.” When it is, it will be “posted in the New York City Record,” said Berg. Berg would not elaborate on a frontrunner for the bid, or provide any other information about the bid’s status.
The 7,000-location strong PERS contract is with the New York City Human Resources Administration for a contract it administers for the New York State Department of Health, Medicare and Medicaid Division. The six-year contract represents a monetary value of more than $9.2 million.
Allan Grauberd, of Moses & Singer in New York City, is the SEC counsel for American Medical Alert, the company that currently holds the PERS contract in question. “As far as we know, American Medical Alert is in the running and we have no information that we are not,” he said.
However, in a follow up conversation with Wayne Wahrsager, president and chief executive officer of New York Protective Merchants, he stated again that his company had in fact won the contract. “It’s in the due-diligence stage,” he said, “but the agency needs to sign off with the city” for it to go into effect. “The due diligence stage has been going on for a couple of months, and the announcement [that the contract has been awarded to New York Merchants Protective] will be made, probably within the next 30 days.” Wahrsager said the HRA is “obligated to take me provided I meet all the credentials, because I had the lowest bid.” According to Wahrsager, some of the credentials include being financially secure as a company and a “Vendex” vendor within the city of New York. “Three companies bid. We have the lowest bid,” said Wahrsager.
When contacted again, Berg stated, “All I can say is, as far as the HRA is concerned, the contract has not been awarded yet.”
While the contract process is ongoing, the fact remains that Wahrsager feels “This contract is the largest of its kind anywhere in the country.” In New York, “The state allots money for this for every county. The state does not administer it themselves, but leaves it up to the counties to find the contractor and be the gatekeeper,” said Wahrsager.