OKC Asks State To Audit Contracts Dealing With Public Safety

Friday, October 12th 2012, 11:23 pm
By: News 9

Oklahoma City is asking the state to step in and investigate some city contracts dealing with public safety.

The Oklahoma Gazette originally broke the story. News 9 then spoke to the state auditor and the assistant city manager to confirm that they are in the middle of investigating certain city contracts involving upgrading an outdated software system used by Oklahoma City police, municipal courts, and the jail.

A letter dated October 3 shows Mayor Mick Cornett requesting the assistance in auditing certain city contracts regarding implementation of various public safety systems.

Assistant City Manager M.T. Berry says the hardware is already in place, but a new software program is what is still needed.

"We take the matter very seriously," said Berry. "We will cooperate in any way we can with the state auditor as his office comes in and looks at the allegations that were made regarding the projects."

The city had hired a company called Affiliated Computer Services (ACS) to manage the project. Berry says ACS has successfully managed other projects for the city and state in the past.

ACS in turn hired a subcontractor named SmartCop to come up with the software program for both the police records and municipal courts system, but the two had a falling out and are currently in the middle of a lawsuit. Now the project is left unfinished and seriously behind schedule.

"It's no question there have been some delays," said Berry. "If you went back and looked at the reasons for the delays, I think you could find fault on both sides; but there have certainly been some delays in us getting the projects completed."

Berry says the ultimate goal is to get the old, outdated software systems updated as fast as possible, and without the middleman.

"This is a technology project. There are technology projects all over the country that are failing. Our project has not failed and we are doing everything we can to keep it alive and get it completed."

Berry says public safety has not been affected in any way. He says the software would just help streamline communications between police, municipal courts, and the jail.