Wastech, Inc. Files Administrative Protest and Appeal on $28 Million Winning Bid in Gulf Coast Region
Wednesday May 31, 12:32 pm ET
CHARLESTON, S.C., May 31, 2006 (PRIMEZONE) -- Wastech, Inc. (Other OTC:WTCH.PK - News) (the ``Company'') today announced that it has filed a formal protest with the Office of State Purchasing (OSP) for the State of Louisiana and a timely subsequent appeal to the Commissioner of Administration (Commissioner) challenging the decision not to award Wastech, the lowest bidder, the contract for the reclamation of vehicles, vessels and trailers damaged by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in southern Louisiana. The bid solicitation, No. 2207210, may be viewed at: http://wwwsrch2.doa.state.la.us/osp/lapac/altview.asp?bidtype=3&bidno=2207210
On May 5, 2006, the Company submitted a bid in the amount of $28,788,900. On May 8, 2006, the Company was notified that its bid was the lowest, but was also advised that the OSP felt there was ``possibly'' a technical departure from form in the letter confirming the commitment of the Company's surety to provide the required performance bond within seven (7) days of the award of the contract. The Company immediately provided a new letter of commitment to resolve the OSP's concerns. Nonetheless, on May 17, 2006, the OSP notified the media that it intended to award the contract to the second-lowest bidders, DRC, Inc., (``DRC'') at a price of approximately $33.8 million. See Link: http://www.nola.com/search/index.ssf?/base/library-102/114784630860150.xml?nola
Mr. Richard D. Tuorto, President and Chief Executive Officer of Wastech, has stated: ``Not only was the 'winning' bid more than $5 million in excess of the Company's bid, but, ironically, the letter of commitment from DRC's surety, which was dated May 8, 2006, three days after the opening of bids, was so technically deficient that it failed to provide any of the information required by the OSP. Furthermore, almost immediately after the OSP disclosed its intent to award the contract, DRC's purported partner, Southern Scrap Material, Inc., publicly disavowed any relationship with DRC. Despite these considerable irregularities, the OSP issued a letter, dated May 18, 2006, confirming its intent to award the contract to DRC.'' See http://www.nola.com/search/index.ssf?/base/news-0/1147969514145130.xml?nola
The formal protest was denied by the OSP on May 23, 2006, and the Company timely filed its appeal to the Commissioner on May 30, 2006. The appeal is currently pending before the Commissioner
As further commented by Mr. Tuorto, ``The Company is shocked, and unfortunately suspicious, at the State's arbitrary actions and can find no reasonable explanation for either the State's failure to award the bid to Wastech or the undue favoritism shown DRC. The Company has spent many months seeking contracts in the devastated Gulf Coast region. On May 5th it accomplished that goal in southern Louisiana. I plan to fight for the Company, and all taxpayers, to see that we receive what we have fairly earned.''
While Wastech is mindful that the damaged regions need this work to be performed as soon as possible, it is also essential that the bidding process be fair and transparent and that the taxpayers' money be spent responsibly. Therefore, the Company is prepared to exhaust all remedies, administratively, at law, and in equity, to protect the rights of its shareholders and the taxpayers at large.
Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: The statements contained in this news release which are not historical facts may be ``forward-looking statements'' that involve risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ materially from those currently anticipated. For example, statements that describe Wastech's hopes, plans, objectives, goals, intentions, or expectations are forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements made herein are only made as of the date of this news release. Numerous factors, many of which are beyond Wastech's control, will affect actual results. Wastech undertakes no obligation to publicly update such forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances. This news release should be read in conjunction with Wastech's annual report on Form 10-KSB for the fiscal years ended December 31, 2002, 2001, and other filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.