Final city budget okay, waiving competitive bids

By Russel Langley/The Oak Ridger

Oak Ridge City Council will consider approving resolutions to waive competitive bidding for software maintenance contracts for a couple of city departments during its 7 p.m. Monday, June 13, meeting.

The first is a resolution to award a $45,000 maintenance contract to Spillman Technologies Inc. of Salt Lake City, Utah. The resolution seeks to waive the competitive bid process and award the contract directly to Spillman, the vendor of the city Police Department’s records management and computer aided dispatch software.

The current $45,000 contract proposal will cover maintenance of the ORPD’s computer systems for Fiscal Year 2017.

In 2014, The Oak Ridger reported that Police Chief Jim Akagi was faced with a choice of upgrading the old software used by the department for $400,000 or purchasing newer and reportedly more reliable software from Spillman for $487,000. At the time, City Council members voted unanimously to allow the purchase.

The need for the upgrade at the time was because the Oak Ridge Police Department’s software wouldn’t communicate properly with the crime reporting software used by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. Because of that flaw, the ORPD was unable to report crime data to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and lost its TBI certification.

That loss of certification could have resulted in the Oak Ridge Police Department being unable to receive grant funding from the state and Spillman software was to have corrected that issue. At the time of the installation, TBI spokesman Josh DeVine told The Oak Ridger that the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation had offered free software to the ORPD that would have communicated with the TBI’s software.

On Friday, The Oak Ridger emailed DeVine for detailed information about that software and its capabilities, which is called TNCop.

“TNCop is a very limited software package, which is primarily designed to allow for the required Tennessee Incident Based Reporting System (or TIBRS) data,” DeVine stated in a reply email. “More robust software systems, such as the Spillman product, enable other features not available in TNCop.”

The other software maintenance resolution facing City Council totals about $26,500 for Oracle of Dallas, Texas, to perform maintenance of the Budget and Finance software the city uses. This resolution, like the aforementioned resolution, would waive the competitive bid process.

On June 2, The Oak Ridger reported that, according to a budget presentation by city manager Mark Watson, $200,000 in the FY 2017 city budget had been set aside to upgrade the software which operates under a Windows 3.1 system.

City Council is scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. Monday, June 13, in the courtroom in the Municipal Building; and a public hearing and second reading of the proposed Fiscal Year 2016-2017 city budget will also be held and — if approved — that budget will take affect on July 1.

Read the full, original story here.