School board approves deal for $25 million in computers

First terminals could be in classrooms by April

January 04, 2001|By Stephanie Desmon | Stephanie Desmon,SUN STAFF

The first of a shipment of 4,000 new computers could be in Anne Arundel County classrooms by April as a result of the school board's unanimous vote yesterday to approve a computer contract worth up to $25 million over three years.

The board awarded the contract, worth $2.67 million this year, to Daly Computers of Clarksburg, despite a last-minute plea from the company that was awarded the contract last year.

The board had awarded the contract to GTSI Corp. of Chantilly, Va., but rescinded the offer in July after a protest from ISmart, an Elkridge company that submitted the lowest bid.

Both bids were lower than Daly's.

"We'd just like the opportunity to compete for your business," Charlie Blandford, a senior account executive with GTSI, told the board.

At that, the board convened an executive session with its attorney, which was called for five minutes but lasted closer to 30. Afterward, the board approved the Daly contract, which piggybacks on a University of Maryland agreement, without comment.

Board member Joseph Foster was out of the room, and members Carlesa Finney and Tony Spencer were absent.

The school system is leasing 12,000 new computers for its schools over a three-year period, with the equipment recycled every three years to keep it up to date.

"Obviously, we're not happy," Blandford said after the vote. "We think the company and the students are the losers in the long run."

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