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By Luke Broadwater, The Baltimore Sun | December 11, 2012
Baltimore officials plan Wednesday to extend the contract of two firms that provide many of the city's information technology workers, saying they need more time before allowing other companies to compete for the work. Under the terms of a $2.4 million deal, Digicon Corp. will continue to provide the Mayor's Office of Information Technology with staffers for an additional six months. The administration also is moving to extend the contract of another IT staffing firm, Telecommunication Systems Inc., for $2.7 million over six months.
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NEWS
By Luke Broadwater, The Baltimore Sun | September 10, 2014
Baltimore's top lawyer said Wednesday that the state's attorney's office has partnered with the city inspector general to investigate allegations that the Mayor's Office of Information Technology paid contractual employees for work they didn't perform. City Solicitor George A. Nilson, who supervises city Inspector General Robert H. Pearre Jr., confirmed that Baltimore prosecutors are now involved in the probe. "They have been working together," Nilson said. "I do know that the investigation is not 100 percent complete.
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NEWS
June 28, 2012
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.
NEWS
By Yvonne Wenger, The Baltimore Sun | June 2, 2014
The head of the Mayor's Office of Information Technology has resigned amid an investigation into allegations that the department paid contractual employees for work they may not have performed. Christopher Tonjes, who denies any wrongdoing, expressed frustration in his resignation letter with the pace of the investigation. "Having been arbitrarily placed on administrative leave amid a cloud of scrutiny, I have been unable to do my job and serve the citizens of Baltimore," Tonjes said in his letter to the mayor, submitted Monday.
NEWS
By Luke Broadwater, The Baltimore Sun | October 12, 2012
Baltimore Comptroller Joan M. Pratt filed a lawsuit Friday seeking to stop Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's technology office from installing a new phone system, alleging the administration used an "underhanded, illegal technique" to bypass the competitive bidding process. The suit seeks a temporary restraining order against the Rawlings-Blake administration to prevent the Mayor's Office of Information Technology from using existing contracts with Digicon Corp. to install a Voice over Internet Protocol phone system.
NEWS
By Luke Broadwater, The Baltimore Sun | September 28, 2012
An investigation by the city's inspector general into the Rawlings-Blake administration's purchase of nearly $675,000 in phone and computer equipment found possible conflicts of interest and missed opportunities for "significant cost savings. " Inspector General David N. McClintock also found that the Mayor's Office of Information Technology withheld information from other city officials about the project. For example, a former deputy mayor directed another city employee to mislead City Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young by denying that the mayor's office was taking steps to upgrade the city's phone system.
NEWS
By Luke Broadwater, The Baltimore Sun | October 25, 2012
Baltimore is wasting about $400,000 every month it does not install a new phone system, a lawyer for Comptroller Joan M. Pratt argued in court Thursday. But the mayor's lawyers argued that Pratt has no legal right to sue the city because she is a city officer. Pratt and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake have been sparring for months over who should upgrade the city's phone system, leading to a war of words, an investigation by the city's inspector general and now a court battle. "The city is throwing money down the drain," said Pratt's attorney, Charles G. Bernstein, a former city judge who works for Orioles owner Peter Angelos' law firm.
NEWS
By Luke Broadwater, The Baltimore Sun | September 10, 2014
Baltimore's top lawyer said Wednesday that the state's attorney's office has partnered with the city inspector general to investigate allegations that the Mayor's Office of Information Technology paid contractual employees for work they didn't perform. City Solicitor George A. Nilson, who supervises city Inspector General Robert H. Pearre Jr., confirmed that Baltimore prosecutors are now involved in the probe. "They have been working together," Nilson said. "I do know that the investigation is not 100 percent complete.
NEWS
July 11, 2012
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blakeand her allies on the city's Board of Estimates today voted down a $7.4 million contract with IBM for switching city offices to voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) phones because she believes there needs to be greater coordination between the Municipal Telephone Exchange, which is part of Comptroller Joan Pratt's office, and the Mayor's Office of Information Technology. And who could argue that isn't needed? Switching the phone system could save the city millions of dollars a year, but doing so without the significant participation of the workers who maintain Baltimore's computer network could lead to costly mistakes.
NEWS
By Julie Scharper and Yvonne Wenger, The Baltimore Sun | March 18, 2014
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said Tuesday that she has ordered an investigation into the administration's information technology department, saying the city has received allegations that contractual employees have been paid for work they did not perform. "There have been very serious allegations of fraud and abuse leveled against the office, and we will get to the bottom of it," the mayor said. "I want to know if any of these allegations are true. " Rawlings-Blake said she directed city Inspector General Robert H. Pearre Jr. to lead the investigation of the Mayor's Office of Information Technology.
NEWS
By Julie Scharper and Yvonne Wenger, The Baltimore Sun | March 18, 2014
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said Tuesday that she has ordered an investigation into the administration's information technology department, saying the city has received allegations that contractual employees have been paid for work they did not perform. "There have been very serious allegations of fraud and abuse leveled against the office, and we will get to the bottom of it," the mayor said. "I want to know if any of these allegations are true. " Rawlings-Blake said she directed city Inspector General Robert H. Pearre Jr. to lead the investigation of the Mayor's Office of Information Technology.
NEWS
By Luke Broadwater, The Baltimore Sun | December 12, 2012
Baltimore officials voted on Wednesday to extend the contracts of two firms that provide many of the city's information technology workers, saying they needed more time before allowing other companies to compete for the work. Under the terms of a $2.4 million deal, Digicon Corp. will continue to provide the Mayor's Office of Information Technology with staffers for an additional six months. The administration also extended the contract of another IT staffing firm, Telecommunication Systems Inc., for $2.7 million over six months.
NEWS
By Luke Broadwater, The Baltimore Sun | October 25, 2012
Baltimore is wasting about $400,000 every month it does not install a new phone system, a lawyer for Comptroller Joan M. Pratt argued in court Thursday. But the mayor's lawyers argued that Pratt has no legal right to sue the city because she is a city officer. Pratt and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake have been sparring for months over who should upgrade the city's phone system, leading to a war of words, an investigation by the city's inspector general and now a court battle. "The city is throwing money down the drain," said Pratt's attorney, Charles G. Bernstein, a former city judge who works for Orioles owner Peter Angelos' law firm.
NEWS
By Luke Broadwater, The Baltimore Sun | October 12, 2012
Baltimore Comptroller Joan M. Pratt filed a lawsuit Friday seeking to stop Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's technology office from installing a new phone system, alleging the administration used an "underhanded, illegal technique" to bypass the competitive bidding process. The suit seeks a temporary restraining order against the Rawlings-Blake administration to prevent the Mayor's Office of Information Technology from using existing contracts with Digicon Corp. to install a Voice over Internet Protocol phone system.
NEWS
By Luke Broadwater, The Baltimore Sun | September 28, 2012
An investigation by the city's inspector general into the Rawlings-Blake administration's purchase of nearly $675,000 in phone and computer equipment found possible conflicts of interest and missed opportunities for "significant cost savings. " Inspector General David N. McClintock also found that the Mayor's Office of Information Technology withheld information from other city officials about the project. For example, a former deputy mayor directed another city employee to mislead City Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young by denying that the mayor's office was taking steps to upgrade the city's phone system.
NEWS
July 11, 2012
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blakeand her allies on the city's Board of Estimates today voted down a $7.4 million contract with IBM for switching city offices to voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) phones because she believes there needs to be greater coordination between the Municipal Telephone Exchange, which is part of Comptroller Joan Pratt's office, and the Mayor's Office of Information Technology. And who could argue that isn't needed? Switching the phone system could save the city millions of dollars a year, but doing so without the significant participation of the workers who maintain Baltimore's computer network could lead to costly mistakes.
NEWS
By Yvonne Wenger, The Baltimore Sun | June 2, 2014
The head of the Mayor's Office of Information Technology has resigned amid an investigation into allegations that the department paid contractual employees for work they may not have performed. Christopher Tonjes, who denies any wrongdoing, expressed frustration in his resignation letter with the pace of the investigation. "Having been arbitrarily placed on administrative leave amid a cloud of scrutiny, I have been unable to do my job and serve the citizens of Baltimore," Tonjes said in his letter to the mayor, submitted Monday.
NEWS
June 28, 2012
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.
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