It was rather heartening to see the Muskogee County Board of Commissioners admit a procedural error Monday because unfortunately, government boards and councils are often reluctant to admit a mistake.

The commissioners approved the purchase of a used pickup with an extended cab from a private owner over the bid submitted by a Stigler dealership for a new pickup with a crew cab.

The specifications, however, requested bids for a pickup with a crew cab. That may seem like a small difference, not worth a flap.

But we have strict procedures for government to follow in order to exact accountability, prevent corruption and, in the case of bids, allow competition in order to ensure fair participation from the private sector and fiscal responsibility in government purchases. And there is a physical and sticker price difference between a crew cab and an extended cab.

Commissioner Ron Pevehouse, who recommended the used vehicle purchase, said he would recommend at the meeting Tuesday to rescind the decision made this week and accept the dealership’s bid. The commissioners will do the right thing when they reverse their decision or vote to reopen bids.

When it comes to open meeting and record laws, committees, councils, boards and commissions should be held to strict accountability.

It’s best for us and them.

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