‘Not acceptable’: MBTA police dispatch contract slammed by state watchdog

The state’s prime watchdog has concluded that the MBTA confirmed obvious bias and favoritism when choosing a police dispatch vendor 5 years in the past, saying in a newly launched report that two different corporations had been unfairly iced out.


In a Wednesday report, Inspector General Jeffrey Shapiro outlines a lot of issues with the T’s procurement course of, pointing to steps that had been taken to discourage competitors from the authority’s favored dispatch vendor, together with “problematic” communications between that vendor and a Transit Police committee member tasked with evaluating the validity of all responsive bids.

The report states that the MBTA and Transit Police favored the chosen firm, IXP Corporation, over two different corporations that responded to a 2016 request for proposals. When this bid course of didn’t lead to a contract, the MBTA contacted solely IXP, and never the 2 different events, when in search of respondents for a last 2017 procurement.

“Based upon our investigation, significant concerns were raised regarding whether or not the selection process was fair,” Shapiro mentioned in an announcement. “Furthering that concern, the MBTA’s poor recordkeeping and records retention practices meant that the authority could not conclusively demonstrate that its selection of IXP was free from favoritism.”

“That is not acceptable,” he mentioned, later including, “It is essential that the public have confidence in government when it conducts public procurements and expends the public’s money.”

The IGO Internal Special Audit Unit’s investigation discovered many of the fault lies with the extra unique last procurement course of, however does present obvious unfairness in how one of many corporations was knowledgeable of its rejection within the first spherical.

In 2016, the MBTA put out a bid request for police dispatch companies by itself enterprise heart web site, the place all corporations all in favour of doing enterprise with the T are notified of recent alternatives.

This explicit commercial notified greater than 1,000 corporations, however few supplied police dispatch companies. Ultimately, three distributors, IXP, G45 Secure Solutions and the Essex County Regional Emergency Communications Center, responded, the report states.

The MBTA then fashioned a committee, consisting of 1 worker from the Transit Police and two staff from the T’s procurement division, to guage the three proposals.

While G45’s proposed value of roughly $1.12 million was decrease than IXP’s preliminary proposed value of roughly $2.49 million, MBTA staff opted solely to satisfy with IXP representatives to request a “best and final offer.”