Niagara Gazette

Local News

January 31, 2013

Comptroller OKs deal for new driver's licenses

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — Two kinds of plastic used to make licenses are at the heart of the dispute. Teslin, a longtime standard, is a layered material made to have information printed onto it, like paper. Polycarbonate can be etched but only accommodates black-and-white photos.

The losing bidders contended that that DMV unexpectedly allowed the higher-cost polycarbonate material card to be considered. DMV insists polycarbonate is clearly superior because it can't be peeled into layers and reassembled as a fraudulent card.

The losing bidders and some in the industry contend polycarbonate isn't clearly superior. Only CBN offered a polycarbonate card to DMV, risking lost points in the state's contract scoring system. DMV had made cost count for 20 percent of a bid's total score, focusing more on technical aspects so taxpayers would get the best deal.

The losing bidders also produce polycarbonate cards, but didn't propose them because of a state pre-bidding memo that said price was important and the state was trying to reduce costs by 10 percent.

DiNapoli's auditors said they had to rely on the DMV's technical appraisal. DiNapoli could only overturn the DMV's technical analysis if it could be deemed "irrational."

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