Former top city official left website overhaul half-finished, city says

Eight firms have bid on website redesign and hosting contract

November 15, 2013|By Luke Broadwater | The Baltimore Sun

The city's former chief technology officer began a redesign and overhaul of Baltimore's government website last year, but left the task unfinished, city officials said this week.

The half-completed job, which included a redesign of the site's main page but not agency pages, created the need for the city to solicit bids on a complete website redesign and hosting contract, said Chris Tonjes, Baltimore's current Chief Technology Officer.

The city is now considering bids from eight firms that range from $68,000 to $840,000.

"Prior to my tenure, the previous CIO started implementing a web content management system but stopped," Tonjes said. "It was never finished."

Tonjes said the website overhaul is expected to make Baltimore's site easier for residents to find information; integrate it more smoothly with social media; allow city agencies to more quickly update their own pages; and provide a more consistent look and feel throughout the site.

Former Chief Technology Officer Rico J. Singleton resigned in 2012 after an audit in New York detailed alleged ethical violations that occurred while he worked in state government there, including negotiating a job for his girlfriend and soliciting a job for himself with a software vendor that was awarded a major contract.

Of the eight firms that bid on the unfinished website overhaul, three are from Maryland, including The Canton Group from Baltimore, which was the highest bidder.

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