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?


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


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


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


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


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


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.


Do you have information to share? Send us a note through our confidential tip line. Your tip can be completely anonymous.


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