Derek Van Buer’s latest letter to DeKalb County Board regarding Housing Authority of the County of DeKalb (HACD) urges authorities to investigate evident irregularities with HACD’s service contracts with the DeKalb mayor’s firm, Sundog IT, including allegations that HACD is not following HUD procurement rules nor its own procurement policies in approving and executing contracts with this vendor.
At heart of these allegations is the HUD rule that contracts of $100,000 or more must involve a bidding process and final approval by the HACD board. These steps were skipped in signing the current agreement with Sundog, a five-year contract that easily exceeds the $100,000 threshold for a competitive process.
In a written report to the HACD board of commissioners, executive director Shelly Perkins admitted that HACD has not conducted the required RFPs. As an explanation, Ms. Perkins describes IT management services as an infrastructure built over 20 years.
I am interpreting this as HACD doesn’t want to jump to another vendor because it would be hard to change. You know what other public body was reluctant to change IT vendors last year? DeKalb Park District — they stayed with Sundog and that was one of the reasons. I had my gripes about how some of it played out, but bottom line is DPD went through the competitive process with a board vote in open session, as it should.
Sundog’s contract isn’t the only one that needs explaining. From the report referenced above, it looks like the specialized public housing software is being treated the same, and responses to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests suggest HACD’s agreements for photocopying services could use a closer look.
HACD has yet to explain the legal exemption that allows it to ignore procurement regulations at will. I join the call for investigation.derek-letter-3-hacd-procurement
City Barbs: Housing authority roundup