County approves one-year contract

FONDA — The Budget and Finance Committee of the Montgomery County Legislature Tuesday voted to recommend the full legislature approve a one-year contract extension for the county’s certified public accounting firm, Bonadio Group.

Budget and Finance Chairman Michael Pepe, Legislator for District 7, said the county’s three-year contract with Bonadio Group, which is located in Albany, is up this year, which prompted the discussion about exercising one of the two one-year extensions in the contract.

Pepe said Montgomery County pays about $50,000 per year to Bonadio Group.

During the committee meeting, Pepe suggested the county create a policy of requiring the legislature put out a new request for proposals for its financial services contracts on a rotating basis. Pepe said he isn’t certain what the interval of time between RFPs should be, but he said it should allow newly-elected legislators to engage in the process during the second year of their three-year terms.

“Third party financial services should be put out to RFP prudently every so often. It happened every three to five years, as it pertains to various boards of directors that I’ve been involved with in the past, and really its for a variety of reasons, to make sure the cost is fair, to get people to bid on it, and to make sure that no relationship becomes complacent,” Pepe said. “We want to set an interval that would allow whatever accounting firm that is in place to at least cover the first year of each new legislature that gets elected, so as not to handicap them with that requirement as soon as they take office.”

Legislator District 9 Robert Purtell agreed that the legislature should look at creating an interval process for putting out new RFP’s for financial services contracts.

“It’s also good to shake it up once in awhile, just because people become complacent with their relationships and organizations and government agencies,” Purtell said. “I don’t have a problem at this time extending things a year [for Bonadio Group], but I think this is another thing that this committee continues to discuss, and I think in the future we need to look at the RFP process and also encouraging other people to take a look at it so that we and our consultants don’t get complacent with our relationships.”