IT Contract Controversy Comes To A Head

The Fort Wayne City Council

In tomorrow night’s City Council meeting, a contract for IT services will be discussed and a decision made whether to pass it out of committee with a “Do Pass” or “Do Not Pass” recommendation. The contract is for a five year period and totals $11,866,900.50.  What makes this contract controversial is that it’s with a  company headquartered in France – ATOS Origin IT Services Inc. You can read more about the controversy this has stirred up on other websites, in particular, Fort Wayne Politics. The Journal Gazette has published no less than three articles over the past week in their Op-Ed pages. One of these, surprisingly, is from former City Councilman Dr. John Crawford weighing in on the issue. I am listing links to these articles as well as the last paragraph from each which pretty much sums up each thinker’s position.

From the Journal Gazette’s Op-Ed page in today’s edition:

[…] While Goldner’s desire for a local company to get the city’s business is understandable, local government officials must also get the best service for the best price – even if that means going out of town, out of state or even out of the country.

Dr. John Crawford, former City Councilman

Former City Councilman Dr. John Crawford writes in the same edition of the Journal Gazette:

[…] City Council should vote to approve the proposed information technology contract as the County Council has already done unanimously. We should always encourage local companies to compete for city business, but there is no way that you can get the best service for the best price unless one allows the marketplace to function.

Karen Goldner, City Council Woman, 2nd District

And from the August 11th Journal Gazette, Ms. Goldner writes in part:

[…] This contract is on a fast track, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be stopped and reconsidered by the city and county councils. We can come up with a creative solution that will help our economy at the same time it provides IT services. We owe that much to our taxpayers.

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Also of interest:
ATOS Origin Global Homepage
AFW Calendar Post

4 COMMENTS

  1. It would behove City Council members to READ the contract they are about to vote on. If they do, they will be the first to do so. It might also be well to take a close look at the action of the citys IT director.

    And…. Ms Goldner: Since when have most of the members of the city or county council really given two hoots in hades for the taxpayers?

    $11,866,900.50 – I can’t wait to see what the real cost to us will be!

  2. I really have to challenge your comments. Things have changed on this year’s City Council. Council members do look at contracts, do look at the numbers and do challenge things that don’t exactly appear on the up and up. They also care deeply for the taxpayers and take seriously their vested responsiblity. Problem is, they’re also saddled with precedents set by earlier councils. They are trying to change things, but it doesn’t happen overnight.

    I have followed the City Council closely this year – and I’m not talking about reading articles in the newspapers. I’m talking about actually attending meetings, talking with some of the members and getting to know their positions and thinking behind them.

    I would challenge you to get involved and find out if your statement is truly correct.

  3. Mr. Parker
    I believe the contract they looked at had a number of blank pages. That’s because the contract was cut and pasted right out of the RFP that was put out 6 MONTHS ago. Some of the council members must have read some of the contract to find the blank pages. I give Ms. Goldner and Mr. Pape credit for that. I cannot believe Mr. Clifford has looked at the “new” contract any better than he has looked at the old ACS contract. If Mr. Clifford has vacillated back and forth with the current ACS employees as much as he did with Mr. Pape, they should be a frustrated as Mr. Pape appeared in last weeks meeting.

    Do you honestly believe the council will have a true picture of the implications of this 11.9 million dollar deal on the services the city/county receive?

    And… I do not rely on a newspaper to provide a complete picture of ANY issue! The coverage of the paper of last weeks meeting was a disgrace!

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