Public Contracts (Office Of The City Manager)

Dan Rubins filed this request with the Office Of The City Manager of Downey, 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:

Good afternoon Mr. Rubins,

The City of Downey is in receipt of your public records request dated July 16, 2018, for copies of executed contracts, memorandums of understanding, and other equivalent agreements that are currently active, or were active within the last two years, etc.

I have attached a list of current active agreements that have been approved by our City Council and a list of closed agreements. The agreements on these lists are available electronically and can be emailed to you at no cost, however, any other agreements are only available in hard copy and can be provided to you in the format in which they are retained by the City. I do not have the State or Local authority to waive these fees. The fee for copies is $0.60 for the first page and $0.10 for each additional page. Due to the voluminous amount of records you are requesting, the City is requesting a deposit of $100.00 before copies can be made. Once the deposit is received, the City will begin making the appropriate copies. Any additional balance will be due before the records can be released. We anticipate the number of pages for this request will be in the thousands.

Please advise how you would like to proceed.

Thank you,

[cid:image004.jpg@01D42826.F4AA3250]Alicia Duarte, CMC
City Clerk
[cid:image009.png@01D11631.433A5540]
11111 Brookshire Avenue
Downey, CA 90241
Phone Number: 562.904.7280
Email: aduarte@downeyca.org<mailto:aduarte@downeyca.org>

From: Dan Rubins

Thank you so much! Electronic copies would be ideal. I am happy to receive them in whatever format and method (CD, DVD, flash drive, FTP, upload to Muckrock, DropBox.com, Box.com, Google Drive, etc) is preferable, though email may prove difficult given the likely size of the agreements.
Best,
Dan Rubins

From: Office Of The City Manager

Dear Mr. Rubins,

The City of Downey is in receipt of your public records request dated August 3, 2018, for copies of executed contracts, memorandums of understanding, and other equivalent agreements that are currently active, or were active within the last two years, etc.

Your request requires us to search for, collect and appropriately examine a voluminous amount of separate and distinct records that are demanded in your request; therefore, we need additional time to respond to your request. Pursuant to Government Code Section 6253(c), we hereby notify you that we will respond to your request by August 27, 2018.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the City Clerk's Office at (562) 904-7280.

Sincerely,

[cid:image004.jpg@01D434BD.942B5C80]Cindi Barahona
Administrative Assistant
[cid:image009.png@01D11631.433A5540]
11111 Brookshire Avenue
Downey, CA 90241
Phone Number: 562.904.7280
Email: cbarahona@downeyca.org<mailto:cbarahona@downeyca.org>

Your input is essential to ensuring we continue to provide excellent customer service. Please take a few moments to let us know how we are doing by following the link below:
http://downeygis.org/dnyKnS/MAIN_KIOSK_SURVEY_DATA/dnyCC-SURVEY-AddPage.aspx

From: Office Of The City Manager

Good morning Mr. Rubins,

Can you please provide us a link to your Dropbox to upload the agreements that are available in electronic format.

Sincerely,

[cid:image002.jpg@01D43940.70E17160]Cindi Barahona
Administrative Assistant
[cid:image009.png@01D11631.433A5540]
11111 Brookshire Avenue
Downey, CA 90241
Phone Number: 562.904.7280
Email: cbarahona@downeyca.org<mailto:cbarahona@downeyca.org>

Your input is essential to ensuring we continue to provide excellent customer service. Please take a few moments to let us know how we are doing by following the link below:
http://downeygis.org/dnyKnS/MAIN_KIOSK_SURVEY_DATA/dnyCC-SURVEY-AddPage.aspx

From: Office Of The City Manager

Good Afternoon Mr. Rubins,
I am reaching out as Cindi is no longer with the City of Downey. I wanted to provide you with my email address if you can please provide me with a link to your Dropbox to upload the agreements that are available in electronic format.

Thank you.

Isabel Prieto
[cid:image002.jpg@01D43B05.E4BA0AE0]Secretary
City Manager's Office
[cid:image005.png@01D1161C.556FCA20]
11111 Brookshire Avenue
Downey, CA 90241
Phone: 562.904.7284
Email: iprieto@downeyca.org<mailto:iprieto@downeyca.org>

From: Office Of The City Manager

Good Afternoon Mr. Rubins,
I am following up with my request. If you can please provide me with a link to your Dropbox to upload the agreements are are available in electronic format.

Feel free to contact me should you have any questions or concerns.

Thank you.

Isabel Prieto
[cid:image004.jpg@01D43E15.A88AC8D0]Secretary
City Manager's Office
[cid:image005.png@01D1161C.556FCA20]
11111 Brookshire Avenue
Downey, CA 90241
Phone: 562.904.7284
Email: iprieto@downeyca.org<mailto:iprieto@downeyca.org>

From: Office Of The City Manager

The City of Downey is in receipt of your public records request dated July 16, 2018, requesting all any and all executed contracts, memorandums of understanding (MOU's), and other equivalent agreements that are currently active, or were active within the last two years, other than standard employee agreements.

The City is fully committed to making the requested documents available to you. Accordingly, please find the attached documents responsive to your request.

Please be advised that the City does not have to provide copies of any privileged documents. While we have tried to remove all privileged documents, the inadvertent inclusion of any privileged document does not constitute a waiver and we ask you to notify us of any privileged material that is inadvertently provided.

If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact the City Clerk's Office at (562) 904-7280.

Thank you.

Yolanda Chavez
City Clerk Specialist
City of Downey
11111 Brookshire Avenue
Downey, CA 90241
Phone Number: 562.904.7280
Email:  ychavez@downeyca.org

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