Board extends IT contract another 91 days as it awaits analysis

By: Joshua Gordon | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published April 10, 2018

 The Macomb Township Board of Trustees approved a second extension for its IT services with BPI Information Systems.

The Macomb Township Board of Trustees approved a second extension for its IT services with BPI Information Systems.

File photo by Deb Jacques

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — The Macomb Township Board of Trustees has extended a contract with Farmington Hills-based BPI Information Systems for information technology services for a second time as they await the results of an internal IT department report.

Township Supervisor Janet Dunn brought the motion forth during the March 28 board meeting, as the first 90-day contract extension was set to expire on March 31. The second extension is for 91 days to get it through the end of June.

BPI has had a contract with Macomb Township since 2014 and its three-year contract, with a one-year extension, was set to expire Jan. 1. The contract is $145,000 per year.

However, Dunn asked the board at a December meeting to approve a minimum of a 90-day extension as she asked IT manager Bob Ivanovski to conduct an IT department analysis. Both extensions are prorated at the current rate of the BPI contract.

Dunn said she first received a report from Ivanovski that was a detailed inventory of the department, and not exactly what she was looking for. Then she received an updated report that provided opinions on questions that had been asked, and Dunn said she decided to have Plante Moran and another company she did not name look over the report.

“Based on the information I have received to date, at this time I do not feel comfortable making a final recommendation and determination regarding the contractor and overall management of the IT department,” Dunn said. “The assessment is still in process and I am presently in contact with outside professionals who will assist with this final information gathering assessment and recommendation.”

BPI President Beth Case presented a report in November of last year to the board on the state of the township’s IT services. She talked about what the company has been able to do for the township, including updating security and hardware.

BPI was the lowest bid when a request for proposals for IT services was sent out by Plante Moran on behalf of Macomb Township in 2013. Throughout the contract, Case said BPI has provided services including networking, data center support and risk analysis support.

There had been concern by residents that the board would just renew the BPI contract without going back out for bid. Clerk Kristi Pozzi voiced concern about why a look at the IT department and the BPI contract wasn’t done earlier before the contract expired.

Pozzi and Trustee Tim Bussineau once again voted against the extension, just as they did in December.

“Knowing this is such a large contract with the township, it is our responsibility to do our due diligence to put it out for RFP or bid to make sure we are getting the quality of service for the best price for the township,” Pozzi said. “I think we should have been proactive before it expired. I think it is a detriment to the township to not continue to be proactive enough on these large contracts.”

Dunn said she was originally going to only ask for a 30-day extension, but realized it would not be enough. She said she will bring the IT department analysis to the board when it is finalized.

Dunn did not say if she would look to go out for another RFP or bid, but said the analysis was the first step and she wanted to make sure the board had all the information before making a decision, which having professionals like Plante Moran will help provide.

“We will be gaining an expert opinion, as I don’t think anybody in the office is knowledgeable enough to convey the report to all those concerned,” Dunn said.