2020-01-13

Why Are Two NYC Agencies So Reluctant to Release Public Records About an eProcurement Contract?

Dan Symon

Former NYC Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) Commissioner Anne Roest signed a $30.5 million contract in May 2016 with Ivalua, a French software company that had never worked for any government in the U.S., and KPMG, a professional services and accounting firm not known for systems integration.

Was it because Ivalua-KPMG offered the lowest bid? Not according to our sources.

To get a contract of this size from New York City, a company typically needs to have a track record. How did this happen? And why are two City agencies so reluctant to disclose public records?

2014-15

KPMG registered as a lobbyist in NYC – all related to seeking new procurement business

2015

7.1.15 – NYC-DoITT issues Request for Proposals for online procurement platform

2016

5.11.16 – DoITT Commissioner Anne Roest signs $30.5M Ivalua contract with KPMG as subcontractor

12.7.16 – Ivalua announces KPMG alliance to build procurement platform for up to 40 NYC government agencies

2017

8.2017 – KPMG’s Practice Leader, “Executive Sponsor” Samir Khushalani ousted from firm

2018

2.2018 – NYC Chief Procurement Officer Michael Owh resigns, moves to L.A.

2.22.18 – DoITT Associate Commissioner Rachel Laiserin signs order that “KPMG is no longer an approved subcontractor” and Ivalua’s $25M performance bond obligation is “no longer required.”

3.2018 — Commissioner Roest resigns

6.13.18 – The “design is not completed and requirements have not been validated,” declares new DoITT Commissioner Samir Sani. Accenture is declared the new subcontractor, Ivalua given another $15M to “contract maximum” of $46M

8.2.18 – C&BP requests records from Mayor’s Office of Contract Services and DoITT

12.26.18 – Ivalua contract increased again to more than $47M

2019

1.1.19 – Mayor’s Office of Contract Services/Chief Procurement Officer Dan Symon takes over project

5.17.19 – C&BP analysis shows NYC spending 340x more per agency than Dallas for an eProcurement system

6.6.19 – NY Daily News: Comptroller Stringer scrutinizes city’s $47M contract for e-procurement system

6.6.19 – Spend Matters publishes defense of Ivalua: “Watchdog Gone Wild?”

6.10.19 – DoITT refuses to turn over 4,294 emails, closes C&BP request after 10-month delay

6.19.19 –Mayor’s Office declares it has no records despite 75 references in the Ivalua contract

8.19.19 – Ivalua CEO publishes defense in Gotham Gazette

8.23.19 – C&BP files new records requests with Mayor’s Office and DoITT

9.4.19 – C&BP asks if $25M bond was collected from Ivalua

10.16.19 – Mayor’s Office delays release of public records until 11.16.19

11.14.19 – Mayor’s Office again delays release of public records, this time until 12.13.19

12.13.19 – C&BP’s Gotham Gazette op-ed: Taxpayers Fleeced for Nearly $47 Million in Tech Boondoggle But Few City Leaders Notice

12:13.19 – Mayor’s Office delays release of public records until 1.14.20

12.26.19 – DoITT provides 127 emails of 4,374 emails the agency identified. Missing is an Ivalua letter attached to Owh’s 1.8.18 email.

 

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Scott Peterson is executive director of Checks and Balances Project, an investigative watchdog holding government officials, lobbyists and corporate management accountable to the public. Funding for C&BP is provided by Renew American Prosperity and individual donors.

 

You May Also Want to Read:

Which NYC Official Failed to Collect Ivalua’s $25M Bond for Non-Performance — and Why?

NYC’s Chief Procurement Officer Left Town as Ivalua eProcurement Project Melted Down

C&BP Analysis: NYC Pays 340x More Per Agency for an e-Procurement System than Dallas