Corruption Leads To Possible Bid War For Commissary Services in Mississippi

A task force has been assigned to assemble recommendations for the makeover of the bid process for any outside services offered to the State of Mississippi penal system. This decision was made after the indictment of former Corrections Commissioner Christopher Epps on charges of federal corruption. Epps, would offer his business partner Cecil McCrory no bid contracts for businesses with his name affiliated. In 2007, Epps offered a no bid contract to McCrory’s direct business G.T. Enterprises, which held this contract for the next seven years, even after Centric Group, Keefe Groups parent company, bought the business.

Keefe Group has been running a monopoly on commissary services across the country for many years. Family members of inmates have sent in complaints to the company about the higher than average price of items bought through Keefe Group. The task force in Mississippi will be making the process of competitive bidding harder for the Keefe Group to obtain a monopoly.

The task force is recommending the following guidelines:

  1. The competitive biding process needs to be started on contracts over $100,000.00
  1. Upon winning any bid, the winning company must register a form with all persons that helped the company win the bid.
  1. The winning vendor must list the name and address of any persons that owns more than 5% of the company.
  1. The state institution posting the bid must post the bid on a public forum that businesses may search.
  1. The state institution must post an after bid analysis on why the institution picked the winning company.

With the suggested guidelines in place, the State of Mississippi should be able to offer fair and safe bidding practices to qualified candidates. To read the full, original article, please click here.