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City Procurement Process Plagued with More Controversy

Posted on December 9, 2014

City Procurement Process Plagued with More Controversy

Tallahassee Reports received an anonymous tip detailing “unfair practices” with the City’s procurement process. The tip addressed the relationship between the Manager of Procurement Services at the City of Tallahassee and a City vendor.

Through independent research Tallahassee Reports has learned that Andre Libroth, the Manager of Procurement Services for the City of Tallahassee has a significant work history with a company that has been recommended by City staff to receive a $3 million contract to upgrade and maintain human resources and financial management software.

Based on information provided in the agenda item, the contract was not put out for bid. Instead, staff told Tallahassee Reports that the City is using Ciber, Inc. based on parameters in a Florida state contract.

Cities are allowed to enter into contracts with Florida state vendors if the contracts were the result of a competitive bid.

Mr. Libroth, who worked on the procurement of this specific contract has been employed by Ciber, Inc. during two periods of time over the last 24 years.

From 1991-2002, Mr. Libroth served as a project director with Ciber, Inc.

From 2002 until 2007, Mr. Libroth was a Senior Manager with the City of Tallahassee. During this time, in 2006, documents show Ciber consultants worked with the City on the upgrade of the human resources management system.

Mr. Libroth went back to work for  Ciber, Inc. after leaving the City in 2007 and worked with the information company until 2012. During this time, in 2008, documents show Ciber consultants worked with City on the upgrade of the financial management system.

Mr. Libroth was hired again by the City in 2012 as a Financial Systems Analysts and in October, 2013 accepted the Manager of Procurement Services position with the City.

Mr. Libroth’s  online work history shows no specific experience in procurement processes before his current position with the City.

Mr. Libroth told Tallahassee Reports that “I did not choose the vendor in this contract, that was done by our information systems department.”

When asked about procurement policies that address potential conflicts of City employees with previous employers, Mr. Libroth said he was not aware of any specific policies that address that issue.

Further research found that Ciber Inc. is represented at the state level by Don DeLoach who is a registered legislative lobbyist. Mr DeLoach is a former City of Tallahassee employee who retired his position as the Chief Information Officer in 2010.

The City Commission is scheduled to vote on the contract at the December 10th meeting.

 

3 Responses to City Procurement Process Plagued with More Controversy

  1. bob fulford Reply

    December 9, 2014 at 7:12 pm

    I wish each of the commissioners would comment on this and tell that he or she knows nothing of the situation. And explain why they don’t know.

  2. Hope Reply

    December 10, 2014 at 8:10 am

    Interesting. Will TR investigate if a city elected official and/or his associate were behind the “favorable” PR regarding the Consolidated Dispatch Agency? There appears to have been an orchestrated cover-up to hide CDA malfunctions from the public by two PR reports being published simultaneously in the Tallahassee Democrat and WCTV giving glowing reports of the CDA; when nothing could be further from the truth. The county commission chair wrote one and Lanetra Bennett, a WTCV reporter, wrote the other. The reports gave a glowing account of the CDA when in fact it had numerous problems, shutdowns and malfunctions. These irresponsible reports reported to the public that our public safety entity was fine. This should be considered a criminal action to report false info of such magnitude to the public. Especially if an elected official or an elected official’s business partner are behind the reports. Taxpayers would be basically paying elected officials to give false information regarding public safety. There is one city commissioner who owns a PR business who is partners with a WCTV TV host, who is also a guest columnist at the Tallahassee Democrat, and has close ties to both who reported the misleading information regarding the CDA. It is ironic that the Tallahassee Democrat gives credit to this same elected official for calling for an “audit” only after the Markel incident and previous months of horrendous malfunctions at the CDA. Were the same people who were behind the misleading PR articles the same who are now being lauded by the Tallahassee Democrat for calling for an audit?

  3. howard eisenman Reply

    December 10, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    Steve— Just wondered if you had considered forwarding this information to the Tallahassee Democrat. I would think that they would have to find this along with your prior investigative piece related to the city’s contracting process to be “newsworthy”. Our community’s citizens deserve to know how our local government functions.

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