When to Share Board Decisions with Contractors
Have you ever had a contractor find out information discussed at a recent Board meeting?
Does it feel like the fox is sleeping in the henhouse when it comes to the Board's recent decisions? Why would one want to wait an appropriate amount of time before formally conveying acceptance?
Once in a while, there may be an overly passionate board member (or community member) that shares information from a board meeting too quickly. This can be a problem. The board should not share decisions too quickly with contractors. There may still be details that need ironing out or sometimes the timing is is best when strategically planned. It's also a slippery slope for board members to contact vendors about awarded contracts. Those owners who are normally opposed to board decisions and budget increases, may start to point fingers and accuse board members of being to chummy with vendors.
Personally, I like to have a that extra time to review details or maybe get one last discount before sending a signed contract over. At other times, I prefer to first notify the contractors that did not get the contract awarded to them. Most boards have dollar limits that will trigger additional legal review and therefore the proposal version should first be converted into a "contract" with terms.
While you cannot control what most people do with information, the manager and board should have an agreement or protocols in place as to who makes contact with vendors. Most of the time, the management contract will stipulate duties.