Looks like DeKalb Park District failed us too

The DeKalb Park District Code devotes 3-1/2 pages to protection of trees in the district. But when it comes to contracting IT services, the district can’t be bothered with boilerplate to protect the interests of its non-arboreal constituents.

I decided to continue my comparison of the relationships the Housing Authority of the County of DeKalb (HACD) and DeKalb Park District (DPD) have with Sundog IT. We’ve already established that HACD did not perform a Request for Proposal bidding process and DPD did, which is how we know what fixed-price services DPD approved and should receive.

Unfortunately for us, that’s where the contrasts end.

sundog-signed-quote

This is what appears at the end of Sundog’s bid and comprises the extent of the terms and conditions, according to DPD’s Freedom of Information Act officer. The problem is, DPD is not just taking delivery of a new lawn mower. It’s an agreement for an ongoing working relationship that includes communications and visits to park facilities by Sundog staff, with all risks and liability borne by DPD. An appropriate contract would require Sundog to abide by DPD’s confidentiality guidelines, sexual harassment policy, and other applicable rules of professional conduct.* Also:

  • The duration of the contract should be clear in the contract.*
  • There should be a termination clause that applies to both parties.*
  • Provisions for handling disputes and breaches of contract should be spelled out.*

DPD signed a $7,000 agreement for architectural services related to a roofing project just a couple months before it approved the $45,000 per year IT “contract.” The roofing services agreement contained duration, termination, and dispute resolution provisions as bulleted above, as well as assignment of authority for safety plans.

Again, as with HACD’s faulty agreements with Sundog IT, we see with DPD a manner of dealing with Sundog that suggests partiality that leads to disregard of the public interest. When a standard contract is not enough, as is clearly the case with Sundog’s, it’s time to get the government’s attorney involved.

DPD, next time you’re fixing to sign an IT agreement, pretend we’re trees, okay?*

*Not professional legal advice.

The full Sundog quote for DPD:

RFP-Park-District-Sundog

The roofing project quote for DPD:

Sharp-Architects-proposal-roof