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Orange County Attorney, Rick Golden, Details His Case on the Legality of the IT Search Contract

“Contrary to the allegations of Sen. Skoufis, the procurement and contract to StarCIO, as well as the two amendments to the contract, were procured in accordance with both State and County procurement laws. Contract amendments routinely occur in many of the County's (and non-County) contracts. They are needed to add additional services or extend the contract time or both. The amendments under both State and County law do not need to be subject to a new round of procurement, nor would it make sense to do so, as you would then have separate contractors/vendors overlapping on the same project causing inefficiencies. Two of the written quotes considered were not sent in by the companies, and there was no legal requirement for that to happen. These two quotes were taken from the federal government's procurement database, which is a proper procurement method. Subject to certain exceptions not relevant here, when a government has secured a contract through a competitive process, then other governments are allowed to "piggyback" off that contract even without the knowledge or agreement of those companies. The companies are obligated to provide those services to other governments at the same price. It is entirely proper to use "piggyback" proposals from other governments as quotes, which is what occurred here. There is nothing "fraudulent" in this process, as alleged by the Senator. "Piggybacking" of quotes and contracts among governments is a daily routine process throughout the State of New York.

Finally, the hiring of relatives of County employees, or the engagement of contractors/vendors who employ relatives, is allowed under the County Ethics Code. What is prohibited is (1) if the County relative is part of the decision-making process to hire an employee or engage a contractor, or (2) the decision-maker is under the supervision of the County relative. Such prohibited conduct did not occur regarding StarCIO. The relative Department Head had no role in the selection of StarCIO, nor did anyone under his supervision.”

Orange County Attorney Rick Golden

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