Public Contracts (Yuba County Board Of Supervisors)

Dan Rubins filed this request with the Yuba County Board Of Supervisors of Marysville, CA.

It is a clone of this request.

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Payment Required

Communications

From: Yuba County Board Of Supervisors

An interim response, stating the request is being processed.

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 California Public Records Act, 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: Yuba County Board Of Supervisors

Hello Mr. Rubins,

Yuba County received your Public Records Act request dated July 23, 2018. Among other items, you seek "any and all contract template documents" and "general policies and procedures for contract administration. However, the request does not specify a relevant timeframe for those particular requests, i.e. last two years, last five years, etc. Please advise.

Thank you,

Brunella M. Wood
Deputy County Counsel
County of Yuba
915 8th Street, Suite 111
Marysville, CA 95901
phone (530) 749-7568
fax (530) 749-7513

[YubaCounty911_Email]<http://www.co.yuba.ca.us/news/yubacounty911/feedback.aspx>

From: Yuba County Board Of Supervisors

Mr. Rubins,

Please see attachment. Also, please respond to the below email; absent a response, we will treat the timeframe for those records as being for the last two years. Finally, please advise by August 9, 2018, as to whether you would like the County to continue fulfilling your request in light of the denied waiver (see attached letter for further details).

Thank you,

Brunella M. Wood
Deputy County Counsel
County of Yuba
915 8th Street, Suite 111
Marysville, CA 95901
phone (530) 749-7568
fax (530) 749-7513

[YubaCounty911_Email]<http://www.co.yuba.ca.us/news/yubacounty911/feedback.aspx>

From: Yuba County Board Of Supervisors

Hello,

We have not yet received a response from you as to whether you would like the County to continue fulfilling your request in light of the required payment for duplication costs. One department has gathered a list of all executed contracts that are currently active or were active within the last two years, which includes approximately 52 contracts, each with approximately 30 pages, so we estimate duplication costs of about $390 for that department's contracts. Before I instruct that department to proceed in making copies of those contracts, please let me know if you will remit payment for duplication costs.

Brunella M. Wood
Deputy County Counsel
County of Yuba
915 8th Street, Suite 111
Marysville, CA 95901
phone (530) 749-7568
fax (530) 749-7513

[YubaCounty911_Email]<http://www.co.yuba.ca.us/news/yubacounty911/feedback.aspx>

From: Yuba County Board Of Supervisors

Hello,

We have still not received a response to the below inquiry. Again, the anticipated total duplication cost for the requested records is $390.00. Your letter dated 07/23/2018 requested a fee waiver for copying costs, which the County denied. Your letter also indicated you wanted to be "inform[ed] in advance of fulfilling the request" of any duplication costs. As such, I remain hesitant in instructing the department to proceed in fulfilling your request and incurring copying costs, without your confirmation and agreement to provide payment to the County for its duplication costs. My initial responsive letter and my various emails to you (see below) requested such confirmation. Again, to-date, I have not received any response to those inquiries. As such, at this time, we will not proceed in fulfilling your request. Should we receive a response from you indicating you agree to remit payment for the duplication costs, we will re-open this file and proceed accordingly.

Brunella M. Wood
Deputy County Counsel
County of Yuba
915 8th Street, Suite 111
Marysville, CA 95901
phone (530) 749-7568
fax (530) 749-7513

[YubaCounty911_Email]<http://www.co.yuba.ca.us/news/yubacounty911/feedback.aspx>

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