6 committee members only ones who will study information
Tennessee lottery officials received five proposals yesterday to provide equipment and services for Tennessee lottery games and began to handle them in top-secret fashion.
On and off over the next month to six weeks, a six-member evaluation committee of lottery executives will lock itself inside a room to study the proposals.
"The committee will be the only people who go in or out of that room," said lottery spokesman Will Pinkston.
Each proposal was accompanied by a bid from the vendor, quoting what percentage of net proceeds from the lottery the vendor would charge to provide lottery equipment and services.
The price quotes, kept separate from the proposals themselves, were taken by a representative from the state attorney general and locked in a safe to which only one person in the office has the combination.
"Cost will be a factor," said Wanda Wilson, executive vice president and general counsel, "but, at the end of the day, we will look for the best value."
In addition to cost, proposals are to be judged on such factors as experience, marketing plan, operations plan, security plan and background and financial ability.
Lottery CEO Rebecca Paul named three of her closest advisers to the evaluation committee, which is scheduled to decide around Thanksgiving who wins the multimillion-dollar contracts. The business is expected to be awarded in early December.
Only two vendors, GTECH and Scientific Games International, submitted proposals to provide lottery equipment for the online games scheduled to begin in April.
Submitting proposals to supply instant ticket games scheduled to start Feb. 10 were Scientific Games International; a partnership that includes GTECH and Oberthur Gaming Technologies; and Pollard Banknote Limited.
For online games, tickets are printed by an in-store computer terminal at the time of purchase. Players make their picks on a terminal connected to the lottery data bank and check when winning numbers have been drawn to see if they have won. Pull-tab and scratch-off games reveal instantly whether the player is a winner.
The Paul advisers named to the six-member evaluation committee are Sidney Chambers, Andy Davis and Wilson. Chambers is executive vice president of sales and marketing, and Davis is chief financial and technology officer.
The three advisers served on a similar evaluation committee in Georgia, which last November awarded that state's online game to GTECH and the instant ticket contract to Scientific Games.
Pinkston said the fact that the three had served on the Georgia evaluation committee does not mean they would be predisposed to award the Tennessee contract to GTECH and Scientific Games.
"These are highly qualified, highly capable, highly objective members of the evaluation committee," Pinkston said. "They are going to choose the best value for the Tennessee lottery."
Others on the committee are Nashvillians: Bruce Ensworthy, vice president of finance; Andrew Morin, vice president of legal services; and Robert Wesley, systems development manager and former assistant to the executive director of the Virginia Lottery.
Vendors will compete for seven-year contracts that begin Feb. 10, 2004, the same day as Tennessee's presidential primary election.
When the evaluation is completed, the committee will submit a written recommendation to Paul, who might meet with the committee to ask questions and possibly change some recommendations.
Paul then will submit the recommendation, including any changes, to the full Tennessee Education Lottery Corp. board, which can approve, disapprove, amend or modify the terms of her recommendations. The lottery board has to approve the contracts.