Unisys Contract in the News
In case you missed it, the Star Tribune has run a very good article by Eric Roper on the Unisys contract. I have been very troubled by the close relationship between past leadership in the City's BIS (now called IT)Department and Unisys, and those concerns are confirmed by the information Eric has dug up.
The bottom line, for me, is that for too long we have accepted the conservative, Reagan-era lie that government can't do things well. We have outsourced essential City functions in ways that I don't think those who came before us would have been quite so eager to accept. Small and underutilized local firms are crowded out by this one large, powerful corporation, undermining the City's efforts to create jobs, especially for women and people of color. We're giving tens of millions of dollars to Unisys, without adequate oversight for me to be confident that we're getting our money's worth. Remember, we're in a time of limited resources, and the City has cut vital services to the bone. Every dollar we spend on IT means one fewer to spend on firefighters, streets, police and property tax relief.
When this contract comes back up, we need to seriously explore breaking it into several smaller contracts and bringing substantial pieces of this work back in-house. I look forward to that conversation, and hope that this public focus on this multi-million-dollar contract continues.