Well maybe not. According to Mark, the feds have and RFQ out in Seattle for one parking space for one year. It has to be in a certain four block area, and must be access controlled. They produced a 24 page document for the RFQ. If you care, you can go here to check it out.
I’m sure that the field investigator for the department of Homeland Security in Seattle needs a parking space. I would also bet that he has access to a secretary or an assistant. I wonder what would have happened if his assistant made say three phone calls to parking operators in the Seattle area and told the lowest cost one that she would like to reserve a monthly spot for the next year.
(I’ll bet he has been on site in Seattle for a couple of years, parking wherever, and someone realized he needed a space, reserved, and secured, to match his new promotion to G-12. He probably got a rubber plant in his office, too.)
My guess is that our intrepid investigator would be parking in his new space now, paying for it, and turning in his parking cost on his monthly expense report, on which he would be reimbursed promptly by Uncle Sam. Done.
Instead, at least two people in Washington DC, in addition to the secretary who made the request of them in the first place, the head of GSA in Seattle plus the head of Homeland Security in Seattle who signed off on the request, are involved for in the best case two to three weeks in writing this complex document, specifying the size and type of space, and the like. (Must meet all made in USA requirements except if it was made in Canada or Israel then its ok, too…) Then, hopefully some parking space owner will notice the request and fill out the document and send it in. Maybe two. Then someone in DC will have to review the bids, and make the decision. Then a contract will have to be written, signed by all parties, and the Feds will pay the cost of the parking a year in advance, with money we don’t have. Of course if no one notices, or feels its too much trouble to fill in all the blanks to rent one space for one year, then who knows.
We are now at least six weeks into the process. Where has the inspector been parking all that time? Has he been paying daily rates which are what 10 times that of the monthly rate with no in and out or has he been parking in a monthly spot (See below) and when he turned in his expenses found they had to go through the bidding process?
What really happened was that the secretary called around, found the space, and then determined that they had to go out to bid. So they did the bid process, and ensured that the parking company she had picked knew about it and received the bid. The parking company then added 25% on to cover all the pain and agony of dealing with the Federal Government and sent back the bid. It will be formally awarded in the next three weeks and the officer will be able to park in exactly the same place he would have if the GSA wasn’t involved. In addition, the feds will be paying more for the space.
In the end, the inspector will be transferred after six months and the space, already prepaid for a year, will be empty. Unless the secretary is smarter than we think and she knew that this was a six month gig but requested the space for a year. She now has a nice safe place for her Mini.
An one wonders why we are in the mess we are in…