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Dallas County Sued Over Complaint It Didn't Take Bids Before Awarding $17.5 Mil Contract

Business Resources Corp., a new locally based historical documents preservation company formed out of the merger of two others, isn't happy with the way Dallas County went about hiring a Virgina company earlier this spring -- so much so that on Wednesday, it filed suit against the county in Dallas County District Court on Wednesday. Here's the complaint. But, first, a little background.

On April 28, the Dallas County Commissioners Court entered into a contract with Virginia-based GTSI "for the preservation of the County Clerk's books and documents," such as, oh, birth certificates and divorce papers. The contract's worth $17.5 million over seven years. Problem is, alleges Business Resources Corp., the county never actually issued a request for proposals and signed GTSI -- an IT firm that doesn't even appear to be in the documents-preservation business and apparently intends to subcontract the county job -- without ever getting one other bid. And it alleges that GTSI "misled" the county into believing it didn't need to solicit other bids.

The suit also mentions that on July 21, the county had every intention of severing its contract with GTSI but failed to do so. And, yes, says right there on the commissioners' agenda: "Authorizing Shannon Brown to send notice of termination of the contract between Dallas County and GTSI without cause, pursuant to Section 2.3(a), effective September 21, 2009." But since the county didn't act -- Maureen Dickey made a motion to kill the deal but could find no second amidst what was apparently a confusing discussion concerning terms of the deal -- Business Resources is suing. The company, which is in the process of building out the former Kodak processing facility on Cedar Springs Road, says it can do the job for $3 to $4 million less than GTSI and wants the county to cancel the April contract and take new bids.

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