INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - I Team 8 is uncovering big red flags on a multi-million dollar city contract. The allegations of collusion and bid rigging center on the process for awarding the contract. There are questions about "fairness, conflict of interest" and potential waste of your tax dollars.
It's a multi-million dollar contract to handle computer services for Indianapolis and Marion County. The company that wins will be the gatekeeper to some of the government's most sensitive issues: Court records, police and fire departments, 911 calls and even taxpayer information.
I Team 8 has uncovered concerns being raised about the process to award the contract. Questions that the Information Technology Board refuses to answer.
- ONLINE EXTRA | Read the contract here
For example, in an email March 15 from I Team 8 to Chief Information Officer Kevin Ortell, Karen Hensel asked about a lobbyist whose company represented the firm that built the RFP--request for proposal. I wanted to know if that same lobbyist then turned around and lobbied for companies who submitted bids. The response? "...policy prohibits me from discussing details..."
Then I Team 8 obtained this letter written by incumbent bidder Northrop Grumman sent to every board member. The letter details what it calls "...several troubling developments..." and confirms what I Team 8 already heard about the potential conflict of interest involving the lobbyist.
- BIDDER'S LETTER | Read the letter from the bidder
Even specific questions raised by a board member at last month's meeting weren't answered. The board member asked how many firms had been taken to the final round. He was told no names or even numbers could be discussed in public.
But sources tell I Team 8 only one company was taken to the last step instead of two leaving that company to bid against itself.
It's big money at stake with a big price tag for taxpayers and for the bidding companies themselves. Each bidding company spent as much as $300,000 just to bid for the one job.
Everyone I Team 8 contacted from the board to the mayor's office declined an on camera interview. However, the board's attorney gave I Team 8 a letter denying anything improper has been done.
- THE CITY RESPONDS | Read the city's response here
Several inside sources tell I Team 8 the contract is being awarded next week to Atos, a foreign company headquartered in France.
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