2011-12-16 / Top Stories

Liu Puts Hold On Department Of Education Custodial Contract

City Comptroller John C. Liu has returned a $65 million Department of Education (DOE) school custodial contract that failed to provide any explanation for a 44 percent price increase, among other flaws.

“With budget deficits still looming, contracts with huge inexplicable cost increases and other outstanding questions simply cannot be green-lighted,” Comptroller Liu said. “An extra $20 million on top of $45 million is an enormous amount of money.”

In 2004, the Department of Education entered into a five-year contract with Control Building Services. In June 2007, the DOE transferred the contract, at a value of $45 million annually for the remaining two years, to Temco Service Industries (Temco) for custodial and building maintenance at various schools and DOE facilities. Last month, the DOE requested a one-year extension of the contract.

However, the amount of the contract was changed to $65 million, a $20 million increase, with no explanation for the price hike.

Upon further review of the contract submission, Comptroller Liu’s office identified a number of other concerns regarding the DOE’s contract with Temco, including an official investigation into unauthorized use of school facilities after hours, and questions about a Temco consultant’s ties to the DOE.

The Comptroller’s Office is asking the DOE to provide more information.in a number of areas.

The vendor failed to disclose an investigation by the Special Commissioner of Investigation (SCI) which called for three employees of Temco to be disciplined. tive Action Plan related to the SCI investigation and the contract is missing approval from the Chancellor or his designee.

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