Mayor blasts contract to Vancouver firm

City management has awarded a website redesign contract to a Vancouver company

Campbell River Mayor Walter Jakeway is miffed that city management has awarded a website redesign contract to a Vancouver company.

“The optics are terrible,” the mayor fumed Thursday. “This was purely a decision of the city manager. City council had no say in the matter.”

The city has announced that its website redesign will be awarded to Graphically Speaking, a Vancouver firm with “a successful history of municipal website development.”

Laura Ciarniello, the city’s general manager of corporate services, says: “In an online survey this spring, web users told us how best to reach them electronically. They were particularly keen to have improved search and navigation functions on the city’s website for better access to online information, and we look forward to unveiling an enhanced web presence in late spring 2013.”

The city received 12 submissions for the project which were evaluated based on technical solutions, history of critically-acclaimed municipal website development, SharePoint experience, project team and references, vision for the City website and budget. Quotes for the work ranged from $93,400 to $20,030. Graphically Speaking’s bid was $56,993.00.

“While some proponents submitted lower budget numbers, they received lower scores in other evaluation criteria,” Ciarniello says. “Graphically Speaking offered the best overall value for the city with expertise in SharePoint, the current website platform, and extensive experience and excellent references for developing and upgrading municipal websites.”

But Jakeway says more effort should have been made to identify a local provider of website services. He is also upset that city council has “no say in spending decisions under $100,000. It’s crazy,” he says.

Ciarniello says the submissions were evaluated by city staff representing Communications, Corporate Services, Fire Department, Information Services and Supply Management. The four top-scoring proponents were invited to give a presentation on their proposal. Graphically Speaking has recently developed websites for: Richmond, Esquimalt, Ladysmith and Coquitlam.

Campbell River City Council endorsed developing a new website for a maximum cost of $57,900 during 2012 financial plan deliberations.