The Fort Wayne City Council

The 2007 State Board of Accounts Audit of the City Controller’s Office, filed September 29th 2008, recommended that the Fort Wayne City Council approve this contract before any additional payments to the High Performance Government Network were made.  According to the News-Sentinel, the City Council will again be taking up this issue in Tuesday’s meeting.

From the High Performance Government Network; 2007 State Board of Accounts Audit, page 10:

We recommend this contract be approved by Common Council before any additional payments to HPG Network are remitted.

We could not verify that the city received $95,000 in services for the year 2007 when the contract was only in effect for four days in 2007 (December 27, 2007 to December 31, 2007) and while the HPG Network employees were also city employees. 

Some background on the issue from the 2007 State Board of Accounts Audit, pages 9-12:

The contract with HPG Network was not approved by Common Council because it was under the $100,000 threshold as determined by City Code Section 37.17 Approval or Ratification Required. We have determined that the contract is subject to the provisions of City Code Section 38.03 Hiring of Consultants and should have been approved by Common Council. “Consultants” under City Code Section 38.03 includes “any person, firm and entity who executes a contract with the city or any of the city utilities for the purposes of providing professional or expert or technical advice to the city or any of its utilities.”

City Controller Pat Roller’s response, to this issue begins at the bottom of page 19 of the audit report.  (In all fairness to Controller Roller, I tried to quote the appropriate passages on this post, however, this section of the audit report had been scanned and was not able to be copied and pasted here.)  Controller Roller also appeared before the City Council on June 17, 2008 for a presentation on what the contract means to the City in regards to savings realized and addressed concerns about the genesis of the contract and it’s approval.  View this post for more information and an audio download from the meeting.

The High Performance Government Network’s website has been revamped and features a news release that Verizon has awarded the HPGN a grant for $100,000:

Verizon announced today that they have given the High Performance Government Network a $100,000 grant in order to help local government officials improve performance.

[…] Taxpayers stand to benefit from local government efforts to improve performance.  Indiana taxpayers could save over $1.2 billion and Illinois taxpayers could save over $1.8 billion if local governments use high performance principles to reduce their base budgets by 5%. 

Former Mayor Graham Richard, while in office, was instrumental in motivating Verizon to build FIOs infrastructure in the Fort Wayne area, one of the first areas in the country to receive the technology.  There have also been reports that the HPGN has laid off staff.  Allen County Government has reportedly hired former City of Fort Wayne webmaster and Chief Information Officer for the HPGN, Chris Campbell as the new webmaster for Allen County Government.  Campbell is no longer listed on the HPGN website as an employee. 

Tune in for full coverage this week.

Additional websites/resources:
AFW Previous HPGN posts
City of Fort Wayne High Performance Government Network
Fort Wayne Politics Coverage of the HPGN Contract
Performance is the Best Politics

1 COMMENT

  1. Question: Who will be in attendance to testify on Tuesday? Pat Roller? Former mayor Richard? Jim Howard,Director of Purchasing for Fort Wayne? Anyone from High Performance Government Network? Bruce Hartman, Indiana State Chief Examiner? one of Hartman’s deputies, Mike Bozymski or Paul Joyce?
    Without these people, this will just be a “We didn’t do anything wrong” session by the former administration. It may take a civil charge to ever get this resolved.

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