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IT company questions integrity of legislative report

IT company questions integrity of legislative report

GOSHEN- A legislative committee that was formed to look into IT contracts in Orange County has released a report, but one of the county’s IT contractors, UTC Associates, is doubting its veracity.

The committee’s main finding, which was the subject of their investigation, was that county authorities had fraudulently obtained a contract with StarCIO, an alternative IT vendor, according to a report that was made public last week. The committee’s decision to forward the contracts of a different vendor, UTC Associates, to the State Comptroller for examination after receiving disturbing complaints about the company’s failure from county authorities gave the report’s conclusions an unexpected turn.

Robert DiFrancesco, a representative for the corporation, stated that UTC was not aware that it was the focus of the legislature’s investigation and that the report’s portrayal of the company was inaccurate.

The legislature never informed us that they were looking at our performance, so we were shocked to see the report. He added that we were never requested to appear before the legislature or submit any paperwork for their inquiry. The allegation that UTC is a failing vendor is untrue, untrue, and unsupported by evidence. UTC ought to have been given the chance to testify and provide records for examination.

Since 2015, UTC has offered the county IT services. DiFrancesco claims that the business has won awards for the services it offers and has never had a notice for subpar or non-performance issued. According to DiFrancesco, the business was even given particular recognition for creating an application that allowed locals to schedule vaccines at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

DiFrancesco stated that the company’s contract is entirely compliant in response to a question concerning the legislature’s referral of the agreements to the State Comptroller. According to him, UTC is a nationally approved vendor, and the contract was obtained legally through the U.S. General Services Administration. He continued by saying that UTC is the holder of numerous municipal contracts, many of which have been examined and found to be in compliance through regular audits.

The legislative committee heard testimony from Samantha Sweikata, the commissioner of general services, and Alicia D. Amico, the county director of operations, which is where the report’s recommendations originate. While referring to UTC as a failed vendor, both officials provided no details about the claimed problems in their testimony. In contrast, County Executive Steve Neuhaus said in his testimony that administration, not vendors, was the source of the department’s problems. He said, “I think it’s really a management problem.” Additionally, Neuhaus stated that he personally arranged a meeting with vendors in May 2023 to resolve IT-related concerns.

The study also questioned a price from UTC for IT services that was allegedly used as a competitive bid when StarCIO was hired in January 2023, according to county officials. The report stated that after reviewing this undated quotation, it is regrettably clear that it was never meant to be one of the three quotes needed to win the StarCIO contract.

DiFrancesco said the corporation did not supply the disputed quotation when questioned about it by UTC. I’m not sure why or by whom a years-old UTC proposal would be misrepresented as new; this is only one of the numerous unanswered concerns this report leaves unresolved.

According to DiFrancesco, UTC is planning a formal response to the allegations in the next few days and is currently conferring with the company’s attorney. After StarCIO left in January when their contract expired, UTC continued to offer IT services to the county in the meantime.

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