Public Contracts (Office Of The City Manager)

Dan Rubins filed this request with the Office Of The City Manager of St Helena, CA.

It is a clone of this request.

Tracking #

2018-77

2018-77

Multi Request Public Contracts
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

Good evening Mr. Rubins,

The City Clerk is the custodian of records and I'm in receipt of your request as of today, July 23, 2018.

Your request is voluminous and I'd like to discuss it in further detail. I can be reached at my direct line below.

Thank you,

Cindy Tzafopoulos
City Clerk
City of St. Helena
1480 Main Street
St. Helena, CA 94574

Direct 707-968-2742 | Fax 707-963-7748
ctzafopoulos@cityofsthelena.org<mailto:ctzafopoulos@cityofsthelena.org>
www.cityofsthelena.org<http://www.cityofsthelena.org/>

From: Office Of The City Manager

Good morning Mr. Rubins,

I'm reaching out again to setup a call to discuss your request. Please let me know at your earliest convenience a time best to discuss this matter. My direct line is below.

Thank you,

Cindy Tzafopoulos
City Clerk
City of St. Helena
1480 Main Street
St. Helena, CA 94574

Direct 707-968-2742 | Fax 707-963-7748
ctzafopoulos@cityofsthelena.org<mailto:ctzafopoulos@cityofsthelena.org>
www.cityofsthelena.org<http://www.cityofsthelena.org/>

From: Office Of The City Manager

Mr. Rubins,

Please see the attached extension letter. Please contact my office for clarification.

Thank you,

Cindy Tzafopoulos
City Clerk
City of St. Helena
1480 Main Street
St. Helena, CA 94574

Direct 707-968-2742 | Fax 707-963-7748
ctzafopoulos@cityofsthelena.org<mailto:ctzafopoulos@cityofsthelena.org>
www.cityofsthelena.org<http://www.cityofsthelena.org/>

From: Dan Rubins

Thanks. I'll try your number tomorrow morning, or feel free to call me at your convenience (415) 894-0240

Following conversations with county and city officials in other parts of California, I would like to provide some clarification. I realize this is a big request and I don't want to disrupt regular business so I understand if this takes some time. I would be happy to narrow the request as well. I hope the following will answer some questions and limit the scope:

1. I am looking at the last couple years of legal language in documents, so plans, drawings, price lists or other attachments without legal terms are not necessary, if that helps. Also, if there seem to be categories of highly repetitive documents other than standard employee agreements, please let me know and I can see if an existing template or a significantly limited request will be sufficient for this work. Also, perhaps we can start with a subset of records that are already in electronic form. The actual signature is not important, I am just looking for the version of the document that was executed.

2. With templates, I am looking for documents like standard employee agreements instead of requesting a high volume of repetitive documents. Feel free to limit part 2 to documents that were actually used in the last 12 months.

3. Please feel free to exclude presentations, transcripts, and any audio or video recordings. Here, I am looking for the written policies, procedures, and instructions that are used in Contract Administration.

4. Documents like process narratives, audit reports, and findings are important for this work, but presumably these documents are a small portion of the request, if any exist.

If any of the responsive records are already online through agendas or meeting minutes, please direct me to those and we can easily exclude those documents from this request.

Thanks,
Dan Rubins

From: Office Of The City Manager

Good Afternoon Mr. Rubins,
Thank you for contacting the City of St. Helena.
I am unable to upload your responsive records via muckrock, please see below and let me know how to proceed to get the records to you:
[cid:image003.jpg@01D4348E.59331F70]
In regards to your request:
1. I will upload all contracts the City has from the last 2 years via your website.
2. I will upload all contract template documents the City has via your website.
3. For our general policies and procedures for contract administration, please refer to Resolution 2018-77 (attached). This Resolution references our Municipal Code holding this information. You can reference our Municipal Code here: http://www.codepublishing.com/CA/StHelena
4. No responsive records.
Kind Regards,

[https://sthelena.civicweb.net/content/large.jpg?11/10/2016%203:12:49%20PM]

Kami Garcia
Administrative Records Assistant
City of St. Helena | City Clerk's Office | 1480 Main Street | St. Helena, CA 94574
Direct: (707) 968-2743 |Fax: (707) 963-7748 | Monday - Friday 8:00 am - 4:00 pm kgarcia@cityofsthelena.org<mailto:kgarcia@cityofsthelena.org> |www.cityofsthelena.org<http://www.cityofsthelena.org/>

From: Office Of The City Manager

Mr. Rubin,

Please see the attached in regards to your request. For our general policies and procedures for contract administration, please refer to Resolution 2018-77 (attached). This Resolution references our Municipal Code holding this information. You can reference our Municipal Code here: http://www.codepublishing.com/CA/StHelena

In regards to your item 4 including process narratives, etc. the City of St. Helena has no responsive records.

Kind Regards,

Kami Garcia
Administrative Records Assistant
City of St. Helena | City Clerk’s Office | 1480 Main Street | St. Helena, CA 94574
Direct: (707) 968-2743 |Fax: (707) 963-7748 | Monday - Friday 8:00 am - 4:00 pm kgarcia@cityofsthelena.org |www.cityofsthelena.org

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