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Tuesday, November 26,2013

Kids in the Hall

Internal auditor calls city’s relationship with Dewpoint ‘cozy’ and work invoices ‘disturbing’

by Andy Balaskovitz
Monday, Nov. 25 — A month after Internal Auditor Jim DeLine called on the Bernero administration to provide details on the city’s relationship with local tech company Dewpoint Inc., he still doesn’t have all the information he’s looking for.

In an Oct. 23 letter to the Council, DeLine wanted a copy of the $52,000 a month “infrastructure management agreement” the city has with Dewpoint, and details on “project management” work totaling nearly $200,000.

The administration provided him a copy of the agreement, but DeLine told the Council at a Committee of the Whole meeting tonight that there were no further details about the $90 an hour project management work.

“I’m not sure if an external auditor would be pleased with that,” he said, adding that a city employee couldn’t use a city-issued credit card at the hardware store and not account for what he or she bought.

In a second report to the Council last week, he wrote: "The relationship between Dewpoint and the City of Lansing appears to be a cozy one where services are purchased with ease and often without regard to providing detailed documentation for same.

“The lack of detailed documentation for Project Management services being provided and invoiced by Dewpoint is disturbing.”

DeLine also said he expects the administration to provide a cost-benefit analysis of contracting the work out, citing union concerns that its employees were being cut out.

Randy Hannan, Mayor Virg Bernero’s chief of staff, said Dewpoint is a “longtime, trusted IT partner with the city,” having done various work since 2008. “The relationship is not new.”

%u2028Chief Operating Officer Chad Gamble explained that Dewpoint updates the city’s servers and programming, schedules software updates “that haven’t been performed in a very long time” and securing the city’s IT network. In addition to day-to-day IT work, Dewpoint has also developed an IT road map for the city.

Hannan also said the city’s contract with Dewpoint is important, as the city — faced by employee cutbacks — could not perform the work itself.

“The city of Lansing’s IT operations are incredibly complex,” Hannan said. "It's not all about work stations. and cell phones."

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