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City decides to keep Serco fleet maintenance contract for now

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COURTESY COLORADO SPRINGS UTILITIES
  • Courtesy Colorado Springs Utilities

The city of Colorado Springs has canceled a request for proposals (RFP) for fleet (vehicle) maintenance, citing issues with transitioning from one contractor to another. Serco Inc. won the five-year contract, which includes Springs Utilities' vehicles, in 2013. Then-Mayor Steve Bach announced the contract would save taxpayers $4 million, as he laid off the city's 60 fleet workers. But a city audit of the contract's first three years, released in late 2017, showed a savings of 30 percent less than expected.

Moreover, Serco sued the city twice, saying it lost $1.4 million in the contract's first three years, and seeking more money. The city increased payment for its portion of the contract by about 20 percent in 2017, with a consumer price escalator for this year.

Utilities spokesperson Steve Berry says the city has negotiated a one-year extension with Serco, pending the issuance of a new RFP. The United Kingdom-based company will be paid $9.5 million, about 14 percent more than the estimated contract price this year of $8.3 million for both Utilities and the city's fleet.

It's the second multi-year deal started by Bach that Mayor John Suthers has had to extend pending the selection process. The other gave American Medical Response another year on the emergency ambulance contract, for 2019, after the city rejected bids earlier this year.

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