Friends of the Zeiss Statement Before
P.O. Box 1041 Pittsburgh City Council:
Electronic Mail: < firstname.lastname@example.org >
Internet Web Site: < http://www.friendsofthezeiss.org >
Good morning. I am Glenn A. Walsh, and I reside at 633 Royce Avenue in Mount Lebanon. I am Project Director of Friends of the Zeiss.
It is now clear that the City of Pittsburgh Department of General Services has flagrantly violated their own
RFP process, to award the custody of three historic Buhl Planetarium artifacts to The Carnegie Science Center!
On Thursday, as I requested, the Department of General Services sent me a copy of the June 18 letter sent by The Carnegie Science Center. As I told you earlier, only on December 10 had we learned that the Department had accepted this as an “Addendum” to the Science Center Proposal. The complete proposal had been due on the Department’s deadline of May 23; the “Addendum” was almost a month late.
We have been trying to get a copy of the Science Center RFP Proposal since July 1; our request was rejected until late October. However, this “Addendum” was NOT included with the copy of the Science Center Proposal finally sent to us. Thus, the Department of General Services has concealed its violation of RFP procedures for almost six months!
The “Addendum” letter
stated that the Pittsburgh Children's Museum had agreed to fund nearly half the
cost of dismantling and removing the historic artifacts from Buhl Planetarium;
RFP required “Complete and secured financing arrangements” for the entire
project proposed by the
However, six days after the “Addendum” letter was issued, the City awarded the bid for the artifacts to The Carnegie Science Center! Now we learn, from an article in the December 30
Post-Gazette, that the Zeiss Projector and Siderostat Telescope have been dismantled and removed by the Pittsburgh . Science Center
The Department of General Services violated their own RFP process in no less than three instances:
1) By allowing a late addition to the Science Center Proposal, for which there is no legal basis.
2) By allowing the dismantling and removal of the historic equipment, with NO valid Lease Agreements—only vague “Memoranda of Understanding” not mentioned in the RFP.
3) By allowing the dismantling and removal of the historic equipment, when the
admits Science Center
they do not have "Complete and secured financing arrangements," as explicitly mandated by the Department’s own RFP !
These flagrant violations of the law clearly illustrate that the Department did not objectively consider all RFP
bids submitted. There is clear and unambiguous documentary evidence that they favored one bidder, The Carnegie
Friends of the Zeiss asks that
City Council investigate the actions of the Department of General Services over the last six months, regarding the Buhl Planetarium RFP. This investigation should include a legal opinion, from the City Solicitor, regarding the legality of the Department’s actions. Pittsburgh