CA unit, member of board at odds

Outsourcing limits urged by Marcus

committee wants proposal rejected


A Columbia Association committee is calling on the association's board of directors to turn down proposed restrictions on the outsourcing of work to foreign countries. A board member is pushing such restrictions as a way to support the local economy.

Meanwhile, the oversight committee will review the homeowner association's acquisition policy to see if any changes should be made in the association's policy on outsourcing.

"The real issue was ... that we need to address the process and the issue of acquisition," said Cynthia Coyle, acting chairwoman at Thursday's meeting. "We will review the acquisition policy and address any issues which may include some levels of discussion about outsourcing, but not to cancel outsourcing."

Phil Marcus, board member representing Kings Contrivance, presented the board with a motion last month that would require the board to have a majority vote on all outsourced overseas contracts of more than $25,000. His motion could come up for a vote as early as Thursday's board meeting.

Marcus' actions were prompted by what he said was the $431,864 contract the association gave to ITC Inc., a New Jersey-based software firm that outsources some of its work to India.

The firm was assisting the Columbia Association in overhauling its customer service software, an initiative that is not completed, said Karen Hawkins, an association spokeswoman. As a result, Donna DuPree, the association's director of marketing, and Rafia P. Siddiqui, the association's vice president for administrative services, were sent to India for three months to help.

During Thursday's committee meeting, Marcus said: "This resolution is to make you think before you do."

Later, Marcus said that "when you outsource, you lose an opportunity to provide economic well-being." He added that the change would make the association think first about supporting the local economy.

Philip W. Kirsch, the board member representing Wilde Lake, said it would be better to change the acquisition policy for all contracts.

"The correct act would be to set up a size limit to have the board approve those contracts before they are signed," he said.

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