Statement: “There’s one small competition that the mayor was able to complete just a few weeks ago on the help desk function. … He saved 55 percent, 55 percent cost savings on that one function,” City Councilman Carl DeMaio recently said on KUSI.
Analysis: DeMaio appeared on KUSI to talk about a ballot initiative that would bring more city services up for bid. As an example of savings through competition, DeMaio mentioned a $1.2 million deal brokered by the mayor to have En Pointe Technologies take over the city’s IT help desk. The contract is 55 percent less than $2.3 million, which the city now pays its nonprofit partner, San Diego Data Processing Corporation, to manage the help desk.
Here’s the problem: The city hasn’t achieved savings from the deal, because it hasn’t been formally approved by the City Council. It’s scheduled to address the contract Monday, but in the meantime, Data Processing continues to offer the service at its FY 2010 rate.
Back in February, we called out Mayor Jerry Sanders for making the same mistake on national TV. He also used the not-yet-approved contract with En Pointe to tout increased competition for city services.
“We’ve been able to make those (budget) cuts without dramatically cutting services. We’ve done that by competing out some of the functions like our IT function. Received about a 55 percent reduction in costs by doing that,” Sanders said.
DeMaio’s chief of staff, Tom Aaron, said the councilman was emphasizing that the deal has given city officials an opportunity to realize savings they planned for in the budget.
“By going through the competitive process, the savings are indeed on the table,” Aaron said.
— KEEGAN KYLE