It appears that Baltimore has a requirements contract with Digicon Corp. which allows it to make computer equipment purchases ("City Hall's phone wars," June 26). This contract does not appear to cover services. Although phones might be considered computer hardware in an extended sense, I would argue that any such phones were purchased to provide a service, i.e., communication. Accordingly, Comptroller Joan Pratt is right in this instance and the administration has effectively undermined competition.
Furthermore, inquiring minds would like to know when the Digicon contract ends. It began in 2006 and is apparently still in effect. What is meant by subsequent renewals? Was it rebid, or was the initial contract award extended? If extended, how many times was it extended? What was the justification for any extension? An open-ended contract, though convenient, would be a frustration of the competitive process. In short, the city should identify its telephone system requirements and identify same in a clearly defined statement of work and solicit bids.