Monday, January 14, 2008

HSOA get's uglier..

..and there's another Texas company benefitting from Nagin's generosity...but first

We now have word that the FBI is conducting some sort of investigation into the business operations of HSOA (Home Solutions of America), the company which landed a series of multi-million dollar contracts from the Nagin Administration including the mysterious Pirate's Alley sidewalk renovation contract....no one seems to know how or when it was bid.

Anonymous said...
Bayou Buzz's glowing review of Pirate's Alley renovation

i guess this is the mysterious $7million french quarter sidewalk contract. i still havent heard back from the city about how this job was bid. i have been unable to find any documentation about this contract. ....also, homesolutions/associated contractors made an sec filing friday saying among other things that they missed their quarterly $2million credit facility payment. does the city condone doing business with deadbeats? is this the payment for last years chicago/las vegas trip?

http://biz.yahoo.com/e/080111/hsoa.pk8-k.html


and:

Anonymous said...
new 8k from hsoa today. sewell states his case and is working with the fbi. oy vey.


and:

Sewell's letter to the HSOA Board spelling out Frank Fradella's illicit activity


Nagin and Fradella cut the pirates ally ribbon together last week. good job ray.



The question is does the investigation have anything to do with Nagin and the City of N.O? My ears are perked.

Now...on to this Dallas based company: ACS

Does anyone remember when our new Inspector General called into question the city's current 311 phone system contract? The 311 system is designed to answer basic government questions as per city maintenance, parking, etc. Apparently the technology needed to accomplish this system isn't all that complicated and city council actually had a working solution ready to go using their existing infrastructure.

Curiously, Nagin decided it would be better to spend upwards of 3 million dollars with ACS to do the job. It prompted Cerasoli's comment, " I wish I had one of those 140k phone operator's jobs."

Well he may want to revise that amount by a multiple of 8 to 10. The 3 million dollars is apparently just for the first year and the contract is written over a 72 month period coming to a possible whopping estimated total of 32.4 million.

Now forgive me, but 32.4 million is a buttload of cash for a service which is not really that complicated. The interoperability grant which the DOJ was going to give us (Before Muppet scuttled it) was only for 7 million and that is really complicated stuff compared to this bullshit.

And here's an idea Ray...why not pay a local web design firm 30 to 50 k to update your deadbeat website which would serve the same purpose as the 32.4 million dollar 311 system? Or does that make too much sense?

I think we can now safely say that our homeboy Mayor has pushed over 100 million greenbacks to Texas based companies since the storm. I wonder where he's headed after his term is up? hmmmm.

5 comments:

mominem said...

I think you misstate the thrust of Cerasolli's comment. I believe it was made in the context of the 311 program staff member being unprepared to discuss the program budget at the Council's Budget hearing. A serious enough matter. It was not, I believe, meant as a comment on the program itself.

Dambala said...

how did I misstate it? I wasn't making a condemnation of the 311 system...his comment seemed pretty self explanatory to me.

Anonymous said...

Whether you misstated them or not, Cerasolli's comments were indeed incorrect. You would think someone that is supposed to be a non-partisan watchdog would either have more sense, or more restraint than to make a comment like that. You can't take a budget, divide by the number of people and come up with their salary - not in the private sector, and certainly not in the public sector. Budgets include budgeted but unfilled positions, training, software, hardware, etc. By my calculations I would like to have a $120k inspector job from him. You would have to look at expenditures to determine what is actually going on, and he should have known that.

311 is a little bigger than having a local website design, check out New York, Philly, Chicago, etc. Companies have spent way more than $3m on a CRM solution that are 1/100th the size of New Orleans. BTW, not saying that New Orleans 311 isn't totally broken in it's current state.

You seem to want to extrapolate a lot in the HSOA stuff. I am curious who you have contacted to find out about the bid. Did you call the purchasing department at the City, that would seem like a logical place to start.

Nois Mois said...

anon#1 is right on some points but his bitterness is misdirected. First of all, Dambala you are right about Cerasolli's condemnation of 311. His remarks were a joke and not meant as fact but rather to highlight the enormous budget to do something simple.

On the other hand, you are wrong about the Council having a solution in place. Development of the Council system occurred after the ACS Contract and implementation of 311. Council used a City contractor (Muppet's cronies name Ciber) to build a competing system with the system ACS poorly implemented. While I can understand Council's desire to build something better, however, the City paid twice for the same service and continues to pay for poor service as a result of the termination of the Council's activities. Council should have halted the ACS contract and forced a rebid. Ciber et al could have bidded legitmately and maybe the City and it's citizens would received a better price and service. Instead Council built a competing system on City dollars that basically constituted a double pay and waste of tax payers dollars. Apparently, Muppet's Puppet, Anthony Jones did realize this when he allowed the Council work with Ciber to proceed. Unfortunately for Council, they actually contributed to tax payer waste when their intention was good.

To make matters worse, the City's Public Works department implemented a system that was supposed to be expanded into the Citywide 311 system in 2000. The software was paid for and the expansion and use of the application was halted by Meffert. Thus paving the way for the ACS contract. My City Hall anon says Public Works just paid the vendor to reinstate that system and will be integrating the system with 311 even though it has the capabilities to do both 311 and Departmental work management. So essentially, the City has paid 3!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! times for a 311 system. Tell me there's not something wrong in the Technolgy Department. But more importantly, it shows how ignorant our leaders and department heads are regarding technology. No wonder Meffert is able to hook and cook so many contracts. No one has a clue who's who and what contractors are connected or not connected to Meffert. I am sure that's why Council wanted all the MIS contracts and held the MIS budget in reserve. All the MIS budget was released except 311. Council could have held them all however the administration used the "Police, Fire and EMS won't get paid" scare tactic to force City Council to release the rest of the MIS budget.

If Cerasolli wants it, this is an easy win to kick off the new year.

mominem said...

Here is your quote "Nagin decided it would be better to spend upwards of 3 million dollars with ACS to do the job. It prompted Cerasoli's comment, " I wish I had one of those 140k phone operator's jobs."

In fact according to the Times Picayune Cerasoli was referring to the $2,000,000, 2008 budget to operate the 311 system which has 14 employees.

I don't think Nagin's action prompted Cerasoli's comments, rather it was the dumbness of the staffer who showed up at a "budget" hearing unprepared to discuss "numbers". As I understand it the $140,000 number came from someone in the audience.

For what it's worth, I think my criticism of the comment at the time may be the source of the $120,000 inspectors jobs referred to above.

None of this has anything to do with whether the system works or was too expensive or any of that.