ANNAPOLIS, Md. — A company already protesting the Maryland lottery’s recommendation on a $262 million contract has filed a second protest specifically aimed at the lottery director.
IGT Global Solutions Corp., in a supplemental protest letter obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press, cites lottery director Gordon Medenica’s internal email last month to staff about IGT’s protest against a recommendation to award the contract to a rival company.
In the email, Medenica defended choosing the most expensive of three contracts by saying its technical criteria “is vastly more important” than the cost.
IGT contends if the lottery planned to accord “vastly” greater weight to the technical factors than to price, it should have disclosed that in state’s request proposal for the contract.
“Had IGT been warned in the RFP that price was ‘vastly’ less important than technical factors, IGT’s proposal would have been structured differently,” the company wrote in its supplemental protest letter.
Medenica has strongly criticized the company’s protest.
“The real story here is the attempt by the losing bidders to bring political pressure to an ongoing procurement process,” Medenica said in a statement last week to the AP. “Their manipulation of an independent, objective, competitive procurement is blatantly inappropriate.”
IGT also contends in its latest protest that Medenica’s email to lottery staff is an “impermissible infringement” on the expected independence a procurement officer should exercise in ruling on a protest.
“The director has made it clear how he expects the procurement officer to rule. That flies in the face of the fair and independent determination that a protester is entitled to receive,” Philip Andrews, an attorney for IGT, wrote in the supplemental protest letter.
The eight-year contract is for the lottery’s central monitoring and control system. The lottery is recommending Scientific Games International Inc., of Las Vegas, for the contract.
In its initial protest, London-based IGT said the lottery inflated the contract to include kinds of internet gambling that aren’t currently allowed under the law. IGT wrote that lottery officials explained later that they included the internet gambling component “simply to avoid future review and approvals by the Maryland Board of Public Works,” which still would have to approve the contract.
Medenica wrote in his email to staff last month that it was “simply false” that the lottery is launching an internet lottery sales program.