Public Contracts (Office Of The City Manager)

Dan Rubins filed this request with the Office Of The City Manager of Costa Mesa, CA.
Status
Completed

Communications

From: Dan Rubins

To Whom It May Concern:

I. Background Information

Contract administration is frequently a source of concerning behavior in the public sector. For example:
- In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, a company with only two employees (Whitefish Energy) was hired hired by PREPA, Puerto Rico's public utility company, to restore power to the island at a cost of $300M. The contract had audit-proofing clauses and left little recourse for PREPA due to nonperformance. After 8 months, Puerto Rico did not have power fully restored and now Congressional and FBI investigations are pending.
- During an internal audit of the City of San Diego's contracting practices, the contract with office products supplier Staples was found to exceed the City Council's approved $2M annual threshold by a full $1M. Auditors found found insufficient financial controls and produced a further 60 pages of recommendations.
- The US Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) found sustained exceptions for incurred costs audits 28.6% of the time in its 2017 Report to Congress.
- From 2010 to 2013, a Maryland Transit Authority employee allegedly used poor contracting oversight to siphon $6.3M from the state coffers.
- The City of Vallejo, CA was recently the victim of an alleged contracting kickback scheme run by the city's landscape maintenance manager, only uncovered in an FBI investigation. The kickback scheme occurred only a few years after the city was in Chapter 9 bankruptcy because of ballooning contractual obligations.
- In recent years, officials in the southern California cities of Bell, Irwindale, La Puente, Monterey Park, Pico Rivera, Temple City, and Vernon have been brought up on various public corruption charges.

While the vast majority of public contracting is done with integrity, bad actors and a lack of public knowledge have a disproportionate effect on the fiscal wellbeing and public trust of every level of government.

II. Requested Records

Pursuant to the { law }, I hereby request the following records:

1. Any and all executed contracts, memorandums of understanding (MOUs), and other equivalent agreements that are currently active, or were active within the last two years, other than standard employee agreements. Please provide a copy of the executed document as well as any addenda, amendments, attachments, exhibits, materials, and schedules.

2. Any and all contract template documents, for example, employee agreements, vendor agreements, master services agreements, nondisclosure agreements, or interagency cooperation contracts.

3. General policies and procedures for contract administration, including training materials and records used to instruct members of your agency in contract administration.

4. Any available process narratives, audit reports, or findings regarding contract administration covering the last two years.

I am happy to discuss any issues or suggestions to make fulfillment more manageable for your office.

III. Fees

If there are any fees for searching or copying these records, please inform me in advance of fulfilling the request.

I would also like to request a waiver of all fees in that the disclosure of the requested information is in the public interest and will contribute significantly to the public's understanding of how governments manage public money and the obligations to which they are entrusted.

Neither I, nor my company (Legal Robot), has any commercial interest in obtaining the requested information. Rather, we intend to use software to analyze and disseminate the requested information free of charge so that the public may identify patterns of bad behavior that, when eliminated, will benefit governments and the public alike.

We plan to enrich and cross-link the information we receive from multiple jurisdictions, and provide an exploratory interface for the public on the internet, for free. Because we consider this work to be Data Journalism, and we further expect to provide our analysis to other media organizations for additional print and online publication, I ask to be categorized as a representative of the news media. Upon request, I am happy to provide our analysis and any articles we write based on our analysis in advance of publication, though I cannot speak for other media outlets.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 10 calendar days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Dan Rubins

From: Office Of The City Manager

Hello Mr. Rubins,

This email serves as response to your public records request dated July 13, 2018 (Attached).

#1) Any and all executed contracts, memorandums of understanding (MOUs), and other equivalent agreements that are currently active, or were active within the last two years, other than standard employee agreements. Please provide a copy of the executed document as well as any addenda, amendments, attachments, exhibits, materials, and schedules.
City contracts can be found at http://www.costamesaca.gov/city-hall/city-transparency/city-contracts. We are in the process of verifying whether other contracts exist that are responsive to your request and will provide an additional response no later than August 6th (14 days from today) due to the need to review a potentially voluminous amount of records (Government Code section 6253(c)(2)).

Employee contracts & MOU's can be found on our City website here: http://www.costamesaca.gov/city-hall/city-departments/human-resources/salary-resolutions-and-city-contracts-with-employee-associations

The Division Manager Association does not have a traditional MOU, the Salary Resolution included in this link, will contain the applicable provisions you are looking for.

#2) Any and all contract template documents, for example, employee agreements, vendor agreements, master services agreements, nondisclosure agreements, or interagency cooperation contracts.
Templates for Professional Service Agreements, Maintenance Services Agreements, and Public Works Agreements are attached in .Pdf form.

#3) General policies and procedures for contract administration, including training materials and records used to instruct members of your agency in contract administration.
Purchasing policies can be found at http://qcode.us/codes/costamesa/?view=desktop in Title 2, Chapter V, Article 2.
Administrative regulations can be found at http://www.costamesaca.gov/Home/ShowDocument?id=10369
Purchasing 2016 Employees Training .Pdf included as attachment.
City Employees Purchasing Reference Guide
#4) Any available process narratives, audit reports, or findings regarding contract administration covering the last two years.

Audit Reports can be found at http://www.costamesaca.gov/city-hall/city-transparency/comprehensive-annual-financial-report-cafr-and-other-financial-reports

Findings, if any, would be included in the audit reports. For process narratives, we do not have any current narratives that would be relevant to our current business practices.

This fulfills your public records request with the exception on an additional review for contracts in #1. Should you have any questions, please reply to this email or call the City Clerk at the number provided below.

Kindly,

Carrie Gallagher, CMC
City Clerk's Office/City of Costa Mesa
(714) 754-5225
Carrie.Gallagher@costamesaca.gov<mailto:Carrie.Gallagher@costamesaca.gov>

E-mail correspondence with the City of Costa Mesa (and attachments, if any) may be subject to the California Public Records Act, and as such may, therefore, be subject to public disclosure unless otherwise exempt under the act. Note: Using the "Reply All" option may inadvertently result in a Brown Act violation

From: Dan Rubins

Thank you so much! I really appreciate your help and the transparent manner in which the city clearly operates. If you need more time for any additional review for #1, just let me know. The materials you provided and the contracts you pointed me to on costamesaca.gov are certainly enough to keep us busy for now.
Please feel free to email or call me at (415) 894-0240 if you have questions.
Thanks,
Dan Rubins

From: Office Of The City Manager

Good afternoon Mr. Rubins,

Thank you for your kind email dated August 3, 2018. Per question #1 of your public records request for, "any and all executed contracts currently active or executed within the last 2 years", remain under review and we will need additional time to ensure an accurate response. We appreciate your patience. A response is pending and I will forward as soon possible.

Kindly,

Carrie Gallagher, CMC
City Clerk's Office/City of Costa Mesa
(714) 754-5225
Carrie.Gallagher@costamesaca.gov<mailto:Carrie.Gallagher@costamesaca.gov>

E-mail correspondence with the City of Costa Mesa (and attachments, if any) may be subject to the California Public Records Act, and as such may, therefore, be subject to public disclosure unless otherwise exempt under the act. Note: Using the "Reply All" option may inadvertently result in a Brown Act violation

From: Office Of The City Manager

Good morning Mr. Rubins,

As an update to your PRR dated August 3, 2018, regarding the outstanding response for question #1, the City has identified contracts that were in need of uploading to the new website. As a reminder, the contracts can be found: http://www.costamesaca.gov/city-hall/city-transparency/city-contracts. We are in the process of completing the upload and as soon as the project is complete, I will notify you.

Kindly,

Carrie Gallagher, CMC
City Clerk's Office/City of Costa Mesa
(714) 754-5225
Carrie.Gallagher@costamesaca.gov<mailto:Carrie.Gallagher@costamesaca.gov>

E-mail correspondence with the City of Costa Mesa (and attachments, if any) may be subject to the California Public Records Act, and as such may, therefore, be subject to public disclosure unless otherwise exempt under the act. Note: Using the "Reply All" option may inadvertently result in a Brown Act violation

From: Office Of The City Manager

Mr. Rubins,

As follow up to my previous email, Re: question #1 of your public records request for, "any and all executed contracts currently active or executed within the last 2 years", the uploads have been completed and be can be found in their entirety here: http://www.costamesaca.gov/city-hall/city-transparency/city-contracts

This fulfils your public records request. Should you have any questions, please reply to this email or call the number provided below.

Kindly,

Carrie Gallagher, CMC
City Clerk's Office/City of Costa Mesa
(714) 754-5225
Carrie.Gallagher@costamesaca.gov<mailto:Carrie.Gallagher@costamesaca.gov>

E-mail correspondence with the City of Costa Mesa (and attachments, if any) may be subject to the California Public Records Act, and as such may, therefore, be subject to public disclosure unless otherwise exempt under the act. Note: Using the "Reply All" option may inadvertently result in a Brown Act violation

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