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DiNapoli rejects $7.5B tech contract as ‘waste’

By: The Associated Press//October 21, 2010

DiNapoli rejects $7.5B tech contract as ‘waste’

By: The Associated Press//October 21, 2010

Thomas DiNapoli

ALBANY — New York state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli on Thursday rejected a $7.5 billion state contract and is launching an investigation into the agency that agreed to it.

Auditors said the state Office for Technology didn’t even know how much money was needed to do the work under the high-technology contract. They said it should cost only a fraction of the $7.5 billion the state was to pay.

The three-year contract is one of the biggest ever rejected in New York.

The contract aimed to consolidate computerized information staff and services to be more efficient. But auditors said it would have driven up costs because of the technology office’s flawed process.

The office was reviewing the audit and had no immediate comment.

“In case OFT hasn’t noticed, the state can’t afford to waste $7, much less $7 billion,” DiNapoli said. “My auditors are going to take a very close look at OFT’s procurement practices to be sure taxpayers are getting what they pay for.”

DiNapoli said Houston-based COMSYS won the bid from the technology office. There was no immediate comment from the company. Its website said it seeks savings for clients by maximizing productivity and creating competitive advantages.

DiNapoli said auditors rejected the contract because the bid evaluation methodology was unreasonable and didn’t choose the vendor that was the “best value.”

The comptroller’s auditors said the technology office rejected a protest from a competing bidder that DiNapoli considers valid.

DiNapoli is running for election against Republican Harry Wilson.

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