State denies USCA request for extended dining services contract
A state agency denied Tuesday a request from USC Aiken to seek an extended contract for up to 10 years for food services on campus.
The S.C. State Fiscal Accountability Authority in Columbia did not approve USCA’s proposal for a waiver to extend its next food services contract from seven to 10 years when it met Tuesday morning.
The S.C. Consolidated Procurement Code limits the maximum time for any multi-term contract to seven years unless otherwise approved by the S.C. State Fiscal Accountability Authority, according to the agenda item for the proposal.
USCA will request a seven-year contract, said Cam Reagin, USCA’s vice chancellor for finance and administration.
“As always, we will continue to seek opportunities to offer our campus the best dining experience possible,” he said.
The current food services contract will expire May 31. Aramark Inc. now provides food services for the Aiken campus.
Reagin said USCA asked for an extended contract because “it often results in vendors providing increased cash commitments to the university which can be invested in myriad student services.”
According to the proposal on the meeting’s agenda, “University officials believe a contract term of 10 years will attract better financial proposals and maximize its ability to attract proposals for improving its dining program including updating and improving existing dining facilities and equipment, and constructing a new multipurpose dining facility.”
Reagin said any decisions based on the 10-year proposal would have been dependent on the terms of the new contract and would have been made in the best interest of USCA students, given available resources.
“At this time, it would be premature to speculate as to the use of any potential funds received,” Reagin said. “At this time, no plans exist for any new construction, renovation or any other such activity relative to USC Aiken Dining Services.”