Broomfield City Council in Colorado has dismissed claims of misconduct in selecting a company for its data center migration, affirming its original choice of operator Green House Data.
Denver company Handy Networks was one of seven companies to put in a bid for the $2m, four-year contract, and pre-selected along with two other candidates for on-site interviews, but was ultimately denied in favor of Green House Data.
Local publication Broomfield Enterprise reports that Handy Networks now claims that its proposal was neither fairly nor comprehensively evaluated.
County manager Charles Ozaki upheld the City’s initial decision, but an internal auditor will still look into the bid - much to Handy Networks’ CEO Jay Sudowski’s bewilderment, who thinks the decision should have been placed on hold pending an investigation.
Swept under the carpet
Handy Networks alleges that other finalists were given detailed technical data of the city’s existing facilities, which it was denied, or in place of which it was given false, or vague information.
This includes the company’s external IP address information, which Green House Data and third finalist Faction Inc. had access to - having conducted audits of Broomfield’s infrastructure in the context of market research performed by Broomfield City Council. Sudowski also claims the company’s questions about the CPU platform and performance metrics were not answered correctly.
The complaint further claims that the board voted to oust Handy Networks before adding up interview scores, and that these were also flawed. Finally, it states that scoring was altered both during the proposal process and after the company raised initial concerns over its integrity.
Sudowski stated that although he didn’t expect to earn Handy Networks any favors by appealing the bid, and that although it was unlikely that any corrupt actions had taken place, it felt like the situation called for scrutiny.
Time is of the essence
The city’s IT director, Ernesto Chavez, denied all allegations, stating that the technical information that was given to other contenders was irrelevant in that it was not what the assessment was based on.
Though civil action isn’t off the cards, Sudowski believes it would be a complicated affair if it were to be taken forward.
Several council members voted against the internal inquiry, one of whom, Mike Shelton, reported he did so out of unease at the idea of an internal investigation, and that a third-party audit would have been preferable.
However Chavez wishes for the migration process to take place before the end of 2017, stating the project is already running behind schedule and that pushing it back further would present serious risks, since some of the maintenance contracts are already winding down.
Update: Green House Data informed DCD that Broomfield City Council’s internal audit has taken place, and that it found no irregularities in the recruitment process worthy of further procedure. Thus, Green House Data’s bid is not in question, and the company will perform the municipality’s data center migration as planned.