Public Contracts (Office Of The City Manager)

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

It is a clone of this request.

Multi Request Public Contracts


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.


Dan Rubins

From: Office Of The City Manager

Good afternoon,

Please find attached in the FTP link below the records (items 1-4) requested from our office on July 24, 2018.

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password: *Files@pr@$

1. For item 1 of the request (MuckRock News PRA, I have included contract/agreement logs from 2016-2018 as well as the contracts/agreements that were passed without Resolution or Council approval. Please review and we would be happy to provide copies of executed documents per additional requests. However, if you would like executed copies of all documents it would take some time for our office to be able to compile the copies of records. Any non-executed contracts/agreements that were approved via City Council can be found in the agenda packets or minutes here:

MOU's can be found here:

1. For item 2, I have included all contract and template agreements the City uses. (02. Form Contracts and Purchasing Documents)

1. For item 3, I have included the City's purchasing manual and contracting ordinances (policy). (03. Purchasing, Ord. 1200, and Ord. 1221)

1. For item 4 of the request, I have included the auditors presentation for FY 2017-18 (4. Audit) and other "process narratives, audits, or findings" can be found here:

Please confirm receipt of this email.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our office at (323) 583-8811 extension 546 or via email at<>.

Thank you!

Matthew Ceballos, MPA, CMC
Deputy City Clerk | City of Vernon
4305 Santa Fe Ave | Vernon CA | 90058
323.583.8811 x 286

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From: Dan Rubins

Mr. Ceballos,
Just to confirm, the documents you provided meet our needs in full.
Thank you so much for your help with this request! I truly appreciate the responsiveness, organization, and transparency.
Dan Rubins