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COA: Competitor can't challenge state contract for services

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A mental health services provider doesn’t have standing to challenge a nonprofit competitor’s subcontract for similar services with the Indiana Department of Administration, the state’s second highest appellate court has ruled.

In Midwest Psychological Center, Inc. v. Indiana Dept. of Administration, et al., No. 49A02-1103-MI-213, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a ruling from Marion Superior Judge Cynthia Ayers regarding a contract with the state Department of Administration.

The state hired a company named Corizon to provide mental health services and that company has a subcontract for some of those services with Indiana Minority Health Coalition, a nonprofit organization that is certified by the state as a minority business enterprise (MBE). But Midwest Psychological Center Inc., the only for-profit MBE mental health provider in Indiana that provides the same services as Minority Health, objected to the contract and filed a grievance that alleged Minority Health wasn’t eligible to be certified as a MBE. Midwest filed a complaint seeking a declaratory judgment on various points: that Minority Health isn’t a MBE; that defendant Tony Kirkland has a conflict of interest by serving both on Minority Health’s governing board and as the commissioner overseeing IDOA’s decertification process; enjoining Minority Health from providing mental health services under its subcontract; and enjoining the state from contracting with Corizon because of its subcontract with Minority Health.

The trial court found Midwest lacked standing and granted motions for judgment on the pleadings in favor of the state and Minority Health. On appeal, the three-judge appellate panel found that Midwest isn’t an “aggrieved party” under Indiana Code 5-22-19-2 and, as a result, doesn’t have standing to challenge either the subcontract or the underlying contract.

Midwest argued that it has standing as an aggrieved party under the Public Purchasing Act outlined in IC 5-22. It argued that it’s the only for-profit that is certified as a MBE to provide those mental health services and if Minority Health was decertified, Corizon would have to subcontract with Midwest.

The appellate court disagreed, finding that generally an unsuccessful bidder doesn’t have standing to challenge the award of a government contract under the Public Purchasing Act. The court didn’t address Midwest’s arguments regarding primary jurisdiction because the case was resolved on on the other points.

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  1. From his recent appearance on WRTV to this story here, Frank is everywhere. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy, although he should stop using Eric Schnauffer for his 7th Circuit briefs. They're not THAT hard.

  2. They learn our language prior to coming here. My grandparents who came over on the boat, had to learn English and become familiarize with Americas customs and culture. They are in our land now, speak ENGLISH!!

  3. @ Rebecca D Fell, I am very sorry for your loss. I think it gives the family solace and a bit of closure to go to a road side memorial. Those that oppose them probably did not experience the loss of a child or a loved one.

  4. If it were your child that died maybe you'd be more understanding. Most of us don't have graves to visit. My son was killed on a state road and I will be putting up a memorial where he died. It gives us a sense of peace to be at the location he took his last breath. Some people should be more understanding of that.

  5. Can we please take notice of the connection between the declining state of families across the United States and the RISE OF CPS INVOLVEMENT??? They call themselves "advocates" for "children's rights", however, statistics show those children whom are taken from, even NEGLIGENT homes are LESS likely to become successful, independent adults!!! Not to mention the undeniable lack of respect and lack of responsibility of the children being raised today vs the way we were raised 20 years ago, when families still existed. I was born in 1981 and I didn't even ever hear the term "CPS", in fact, I didn't even know they existed until about ten years ago... Now our children have disagreements between friends and they actually THREATEN EACH OTHER WITH, "I'll call CPS" or "I'll have [my parent] (usually singular) call CPS"!!!! And the truth is, no parent is perfect and we all have flaws and make mistakes, but it is RIGHTFULLY OURS - BY THE CONSTITUTION OF THIS GREAT NATION - to be imperfect. Let's take a good look at what kind of parenting those that are stealing our children are doing, what kind of adults are they producing? WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENS TO THE CHILDREN THAT HAVE BEEN RIPPED FROM THEIR FAMILY AND THAT CHILD'S SUCCESS - or otherwise - AS AN ADULT.....

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