The Orange County Board of Supervisors held a special meeting on Tuesday to select contractors for the County’s Information Technology equipment, specifically computer services (Scope 1) and phone services (Scope 2). By a 4-1 vote, the Board directed staff to negotiate with SAIC as the primary vendor and HP as the secondary for Scope 1, according to a newsletter emailed yesterday by Supervisor Shawn Nelson.
Nelson also reported that the Supervisors unanimously approved the County staff recommendation to negotiate with Xerox as the primary and Verizon as the secondary vendor for Scope 2 services. Staff will return to the Board of Supervisors at a later date for approval of the negotiated contracts.
The Project on Government Oversight (POGO) reports thirteen separate instances of misconduct by SAIC, including:
- Iraq Contracts Investigation – In March 2004, the Pentagon’s inspector general released a report on Iraq humanitarian assistance contracts awarded for the Coalition Provisional Authority. A large portion of the contracts under review were awarded on a sole-source basis to SAIC. The inspector general found irregularities in both the award and administration of the contracts, including instances of improper or unsupported billing and weak oversight.
- KC-135 and F-15 Aircraft Components (False Claims Act) – SAIC was charged with defrauding the government over its efforts to design a flat panel display screen for fighter jets. The government alleged that SAIC received millions of dollars but never produced a fully operational model and misled the government about the status of their progress. According to media reports, in December 1995, SAIC settled with the government and paid a fine of $2.5 million.
- CityTime Contract Fraud Settlement – In March 2012, SAIC agreed to pay $500.4 million under a deferred prosecution agreement to resolve claims of fraud occurring on the CityTime information technology contract with New York City. SAIC admitted it failed to investigate and notify the city of claims that project manager Gerard Denault steered work to subcontractor Technodyne LLC in exchange for kickbacks. SAIC agreed to the filing of one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and agreed to disgorge proceeds of the offense, including $370.4 million in restitution to the city and a $130 million penalty.
SAIC, Inc., is a publicly traded Virginia-based corporation with a multiyear $49-million contract to help the Air Force analyze drone video and other intelligence from Afghanistan, according to the L.A. Times. SAIC employees work in the so-called kill chain before Hellfire missiles are launched, according to current and former military officers, company employees and internal government documents.
SAIC’s history, courtesy of Wikipedia:
SAIC was founded by Dr. J. Robert “Bob” Beyster in 1969 in La Jolla, California, as Science Applications Incorporated. As of 2009, SAIC employed 45,000 employees in 150 cities worldwide and reported $10.8 billion in revenue for its fiscal year ended January 31, 2009, making it number 285 on the Fortune 500 list.
The company has had as part of its management, and on its Board of Directors, many well known ex-government personnel including Melvin Laird, Secretary of Defense in the Nixon administration; William Perry, Secretary of Defense for Bill Clinton; John M. Deutch, President Clinton’s CIA Director; Admiral Bobby Ray Inman who served in various capacities in the NSA and CIA for the Ford, Carter and Reagan administrations; and David Kay who led the search for weapons of mass destruction for the U.N. following the 1991 Gulf War and for the Bush Administration following the 2003 Iraq invasion.
The County’s back-up IT contractor, HP, is headed up by Meg Whitman, the failed Republican California gubernatorial candidate in 2010, who was a favorite of Supervisor Janet Nguyen.
“Altogether since 2009, according to records of county registrar of voters, the four supervisors and Spitzer have received at least $23,000 from the four top bidders for the contract. The county has a cap of $1,800 per donor for each election campaign,” according to the Voice of OC.
Nick Berardino, general manager of the Orange County Employees Association, said 20 to 40 employees were anticipated to be laid off because of the new contract, according to the Voice of OC.
“You have the managers protecting themselves,” said Berardino. “They’re going to protect themselves, and then they’re going to force layoffs on the other departments.”