Regarding our latest City Hall story, the above document shows that TeleCommunication Systems submitted the highest bid for staffing city agencies with IT personnel – fully $4.4 million higher than ICS Nett.
So how did the Bureau of Purchases end up recommending TeleCom to the Board of Estimates yesterday? (Well, it recommended the Hanover-based company until Olivia Pope – I mean Lisa Harris Jones – forced a postponement to kick off a week of special pleading on behalf of her client, Digicon.)
Here’s some more background on this murky bit of business: The official depository of all publicly opened bids, the Comptroller’s Office, doesn’t have a copy of the three bids, according to staff for board secretary Harriette Taylor. Nor does the Law Department, according to City Solicitor George Nilson.
That leaves Purchases as the sole possessor of such “public” information, and Chief Purchasing Agent Tim Krus isn’t talking. Attempts to reach him by phone and email yesterday and today have been met with silence.
But we can tell you how this contract came down to being a duel between the high bidders, TeleCom and Digicon:
Originally, eight companies submitted technical proposals to supply the IT personnel. But five of the companies were rejected even before the May 22 bid opening because they failed to meet unspecified “minimum requirements.”
That left the three companies referenced in the above chart with the “PROPORSAL” (uhh, we assume they mean “PROPOSAL”) for Enterprise Technology Staffing Support.
But actual dollars accounted for only part of the decision. Like “Dancing with the Stars” and other contestant shows, the money part of the bid gets mixed up with a scoring system by a review panel.
The maximum technical score was 400 points divided into the following areas: “Corporate Background” (max of 100 points); “Customer References” (max of 100 points); “Management Approach” (max of 100 points); “Method of Operation” (max of 50 points); “Transition Plan and answers to questions” posed by the panel (max of 50 points).
Somehow, ICS Nett scored so poorly on nebulous (or is it subjective?) criteria that it lost out to TeleCom – even though its bid was 36% lower.
Stated differently, TeleCom is going to provide taxpayers $4.4 million worth of better staff than ICS Nett, according to the review panel whose members haven’t yet been disclosed.
Tim Krus should be asked a lot of questions by the Board of Estimates next week.
If past is precedent, he might well get some from City Comptroller Joan Pratt or gadfly attorney Arnold Jolivet. But expect sealed lips from Mayor Rawlings-Blake, the real Olivia Pope who controls the board and its votes.