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Public outcry leads PTC Council to seek competitive IT bids, saving $260K

By seeking proposals for information technology services, the city of Peachtree City stands to save more than $260,000 compared to the no-bid contract previously advocated by City Manager Jim Pennington in April.

Pennington initially had proposed that VC3 be awarded the contract without seeking other bids or proposals from other companies.

The Citizen ran a front-page story detailing the recommended no-bid expenditure and the resulting public outcry convinced the City Council to seek proposals from a number of companies.

Thursday night, the council is slated to vote on a recommendation from city staff to select the Presidio firm for the three-year contract at $404,840, a difference of $260,296 compared to the $665,136 cost initially proposed by VC3.

The savings represent about a sixth of a mill in ad valorem property tax under the current city tax rate. One mill in Peachtree City’s tax digest is valued at $1.7 million.

The three proposals to offer IT services to the city were evaluated by a third-party company contracted by the city: Southern Technology Consulting.

Even after losing the no-bid contract proposal for IT services, VC3 submitted a proposal for the work that was deemed robust from a staffing level but also “not as competitively priced.”

According to STC’s analysis, VC3’s second proposal was actually for $1.37 million over the three-year period, but that included providing two full-time staffers on site. Presidio, however, offers remote troubleshooting and a dispatching of personnel when necessary at no additional cost to the city, the analysis noted.

The city has sought the IT service contract based on the departure of former IT director Matt Robinson and a vacant systems analyst position in what is now a two-person IT department, basically at half its staffing level compared to last year.

The arrangement with Presidio would keep the two current city-employed IT staffers to handle some after-hours support needs, attaching new equipment to the network, application software support and other duties.

VC3 meanwhile is in the process of installing new computers and servers for the city, and Presidio will be in charge of making sure the installation is done according to the specifications of the VC3 contract.

When Pennington proposed the no-bid contract for VC3 in April, part of the reason was because VC3 was already familiar with the city’s technology framework because it had conducted a recent technology assessment for the city, city officials said at the time.

That assessment noted that some 10 of the city’s 17 servers were “ready to crash” according to City Manager Jim Pennington.



I wonder if any of those servers that were "ready to crash" actually crashed!

Someone might have been blowing smoke up the good doctor's bottom.

The true bottom line - while PTC will get some technology upgrades (good for them), they will probably end up paying more for annual services and get less overall than they did if they would have just kept their staffing in-house. It's curious that TWO of the staffers left - maybe they saw the writing on the wall with outsourcing?

So, VC3's proposal was astronomically out of balance with reality. The idea of wholly outsourcing services doesn't always produce the best product. Hopefully with some internal staff here, PTC can have a good balance.

Next steps - when does PTC "rightsize" its Finance department?

rail road's picture

What a good idea don’t pass any no bid or single bid contracts. That’s what I have been telling the Fayette County Commission for years. But they continue to pass them. I wander how much money the county could save? PTC saved $260,000.00 on one contract.

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