Second Ward, Minneapolis

This is the public policy forum of Minneapolis Second Ward (Green) City Council Member Cam Gordon and his staff. We use this space to talk about some of what Cam’s working on, explain his positions, and share a little of what life in City Hall is like. Please feel free to comment on posts, within certain ground rules. See our disclaimer, including ground rules, here:

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Unisys Contract Audited

The City’s Internal Audit department has conducted an audit of the City’s information technology contract with the Unisys Corporation.  The contract, which began in 2007 and ends in 2015, is currently valued at $86,363,655. 

The audit found significant issues in our contract management with Unisys.  First, quoting from the report, “While IT management reviews the invoices for accuracy and completeness, there is no evidence to support the invoice itself was reviewed. Also, the support documentation provided by Unisys only show total dollars without adequate details used to calculate the totals (i.e. rates and hours).  Additionally, while there are written procedures on the IT invoice review process, the procedures are very brief and do not include detailed steps.” 

Second, there are concerns about our contract monitoring: “IT management does not receive relevant reports from Unisys as stated in the contract. Also, there is currently no agreed upon process in place to validate that the City is receiving the most favored equipment prices and/or taking advantage of any special promotional rates or discounts.” 

I continue to have serious concerns about the amount of money the City spends on this information technology contract, and the lack of oversight found in this audit compounds that concern.  This seems like one of the clear consequences of outsourcing what had been – and arguably should still be – a core City function. My hope is that before 2015 we will evaluate alternatives to the current arrangement, ranging from bringing most or all of the services back into City Hall, to breaking up the contract into sections so that smaller local firms can compete for aspects of the business, to drafting a contracts that we are better able to manage and oversee and that will save the city, and us taxpayers, money.

In June the Council referred this report to the Ways and Means Committee for further review. That is a good first step.


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