A school here is considering purchasing SPORTident.
They are supposed to do competitive bidding for things.
Would anyone like to give me some good justification that might be helpful for accountants who aren't familiar with orienteering as to why SPORTident is the right solution?
I'm already anticipating that you will all argue about SPORTident now but that's not really what I'm looking for :-)
A main point for me is that other nearby districts are getting SPORTident so they will be able to interoperate.
Are their any other systems that are actively sold (or used for that matter) in North America?
I think the main point is that it is THE system used in North America so students will be able to travel to any event in NA and will be familiar with the system in use.
hmmm...can competitive bidding be buying sportident from different vendors?
Yeah, just show prices from authorized sportident dealers in various countries...
Easygec and all the Go4O games that can be done in the gym or outdoors, both were designed to work with the SI system, and those would be pretty big reasons for me.
Local governments, like school districts, will usually have a "sole source procurement policy." The policy will spell out when you can buy something without bidding. Usually that's because there is no reasonable alternative and/or there is only one provider.
You need to explain your reason for picking both the product (SI) and the particular vendor. It helps to document what alternatives you considered.
You want SI rather than EMIT. Why is that? How do you know? Maybe you want to have the system that is most common in the U.S. You know that because you asked some orienteering clubs and they told you that everyone uses SI.
Are there multiple vendors? I've no idea. It is pretty common that companies have authorized vendors, so you don't really have a choice. I'm not sure if that's the case with SI, but it might be.
The purchasing policies are trying to make sure you make a reasonable decision and you document the rationale. It isn't enough to just say, "hey, I know everyone uses SI." You need to be able to say, "everyone around here uses SI and I know that because X."
Accountants don't usually care what you say as long as it meets the form. But auditors might want to see documentation and understand the reasoning.
show prices from authorized sportident dealers in various countries..
If I were auditing a sole source procurement where the buyer showed me prices from other countries, I'd consider that a red flag.
If there are different vendors within the US, then it'd be good to show those prices.
That's probably true, I just don't think there are multiple vendors in the US.
I filled out a lot of sole source procurement forms in the Air Force, it was pretty much a joke process. I have to imagine it's not much more difficult for someone at a school to get exactly what they want.
Massachusetts procurement law has fewer requirements for purchases of less than $10,000. See here
, look at the last chart ("Purchase of Supplies and Services"). There is a real benefit to keeping the purchase under 10K if you have a specific product or contractor you want to use. Getting three bids is not required.
Any city or town has a chief procurement officer; perhaps the school does too. They would know the rules. There is a lot more info on mass.gov
Re Spike: The only vendors you'll be able to show for EMIT are overseas (UK and Norway), at least for SI you can show US and Canada.
Several US vendors sell SI cards of various types, but it appears that there is only one vendor of the control units and supplemental equipment in the USA.
As others stated, just emphasize that SI is the system used by orienteering in North America. There are a couple small clubs that have experimented with home grown systems, but every major club and national level event in North America uses SI.
Have you thought of getting quotes from SportIdent USA and the O-Store?
Until recently the O-Store could give you the better price (but now the Canadian dollar is on a rare upward rise so I'm not sure that still holds true).
However if it is like Florida, your bosses will tell you to buy from the US supplier.
The advantage for electronic timing over card punching for the school orienteering is the greatly enhanced performance feedback when it is tied in with Livelox, route Gadget or even Quick Route.
It also cuts out the chance of students taking short cut that the teacher can't track.
I'm impressed with the outpouring of expertise on this question!
There are three IOF approved systems: SportIdent, Emit and LearnJoy. At least the two first have systems for schools.
BOM: Actually 4; you forgot the SFR system, although I don't think it is in very wide use outside of Russia. Likewise, I'm not sure LearnJoy has much use outside of China; I'd honestly never heard of LearnJoy before I looked at IOF approved e-punch systems
Seriously, nothing other than SI really makes sense for a school in North America.