I was under the mistaken impression that I was getting this column off my chest and could move on. Nope, it’s not going to be so easy. You guys have flooded the email box with perspective — some claiming expert first-hand knowledge of what’s unraveling with this massive undertaking at City Hall. That’s going to take a while to parse through.
This is a big deal. But let’s take one thing at a time.
First, does it seem odd that city officials have decided they need a new group of consultants to fill out the rest of an $18 million information technology contract and they are going to hire this new group without a bidding process and without more than an FYI to the City Council?
I mean, I understand how it works. The Data Processing Corporation, or DPC, does all of the information technology procurement for the city. The DPC board will review the new, no-bid contract to hire SAP, and the City Council can read about it.
But it’s not DPC staff that’s deciding it needs this new group. City managers are calling the shots on this. The city is telling DPC what to do.
So if city staff is deciding something and a board apparently must approve that decision, how in the world is it not the City Council?
I talked to City Councilwoman Donna Frye Monday about the issue. She said she saw the value in the city getting a new computer system. Few people don’t and I adamantly agree that the patchwork of technology platforms at the city is a daily, dull disaster.
She said the City Council “essentially waived its authority” by letting this whole thing go through DPC.
“The public has been shut out of the process,” she said.
The way it’s set up, city staff got the advantage of being able to decide all this stuff without the disadvantage of having to deal with the City Council and public on it.