The public does not yet know why a state contract for mental health hotline and crisis services was awarded to an Oregon-based company rather than a consortium of local providers headed by Mind Springs Health in Grand Junction.
Government procurers must look to the most cost-effective bids that most closely meet the bid specifications. Local firms deserve some special consideration because of the jobs they provide and taxes they pay, but they shouldn’t automatically win bids when competing with companies from other areas.
However, it’s worth noting that Colorado is a state in which the Office of Economic Development is touting its effort to better brand and market Colorado goods and services so they will attract more customers here at home. It’s a state where the health and wellness sector is listed as one of the key industries in the state under the governor’s Colorado Blueprint for economic development that aims to “build a business-friendly environment” here and “retain, grow and recruit companies.”
The state Office of Behavioral Health had better have very solid reasons for selecting the Oregon-based company over the entities here in Colorado.