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Friday, January 26, 2007

QuadTech: What was it the City wanted?

Now that we know what the Administration was WILLING TO PAY ($408,000) and ACTUALLY paid ($153,000+) WITHOUT A CONTRACT, for 'Project Management for Information Technology,' what was it the Administration WANTED?

Evidently, a lot, if you look closely at the Executive Summary in the City's RFP.

The EXECUTIVE SUMMARY outlines the who, what & why of the RFP

First off, this is THE MAYOR'S INITIATIVE -- "It is the goal of the Mayor to position the City of Plainfield for success to provide a means for measurable goals and projected success. To this end, the Project Management office will be charged with assisting the reaching this objective."

Secondly, it is part of A PROJECTED FIVE-YEAR STRATEGIC PLAN. (Not that we're counting any chickens before they're hatched.)

Thirdly, the CREATION OF A NEW BUREAUCRACY -- a Project Management Office -- is contemplated. Cost? Not specified. Funding? Resources? "[T]o position the [city] with necessary funds to ensure the...organization is equip [sic] with the proper resources."

Fourthly, Mayor Robinson-Briggs has responded to 'citizen desires' with "A CONCEPT OF 'ONLINE GOVERNMENT'" -- allowing you, dear taxpayer, 24x7 access to government. Of course you remember expressing those desires, right?

It is not at all clear from the RFP what any of the proposed work by the vendor has to do with the goal of 'online government.' In fact, PT has been a student and advocate of this concept for years -- dog's years, actually.

What is usually meant by 'online government' is ONLINE ACCESS to the following --
  • Permit and license application forms
  • Zoning regulations
  • The Master Plan
  • Agendas and Minutes of the Council and Boards and Commissions
  • Resolutions and Ordinances of the Governing Body
  • Details about volunteering for Boards and Commissions
  • Emergency Notices (Road closings, Snow/Flooding alerts, Parade routes, etc.)
  • A Phone Directory (had one online up to this Administration, actually)
  • A Community Events Calendar
  • Constantly updated Department/Division news
  • Online payment of traffic fines (NJ has already instituted this statewide)
The interesting thing about all of these services is that they are already READILY, EASILY and CHEAPLY availabe as turnkey solutions from established New Jersey providers who exhibit annually at the municipalities' convention in Atlantic City.

Some of these items WERE ALREADY AVAILABLE ON THE CITY WEBSITE AND TAKEN DOWN. Some need only a COMMITMENT to use EXISTING TECHNOLOGY ALREADY IN PLACE. A few would involve CONTRACTING FOR A TURNKEY SERVICE. The entire kit and caboodle would fit on -- and could be run from -- the laptop on which I am writing this post.

No way would
all of this cost $400,000 to STUDY and SET UP.


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