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City of Alameda Produces No Records Pertaining to “Vaporware” Software Contracts

To date, the City of Alameda has not responded to a public records request for documents pertaining to the $205,000 purchase of record management software from Autonomy, a company accused of defrauding Hewlett-Packard, which acquired it.Some 20 days on from the original request date, the City of Alameda has produced no documents in response to an Action Alameda News public records request pertaining to over $300,000 in city contracts to deploy software from Autonomy, a company that was accused last year of defauding Hewlett-Packard to the tune of $8.8 billion with what insiders called “vaporware” software.

The City of Alameda is moving forward with a $205,000 contract for software from Autonomy, $95,000 in consultant contracts to deploy it, and additional contracts to maintain it on an ongoing basis.

On March 21st, Action Alameda News made a public records request for “a copy of all Request for Proposals, Requests for Qualifications, or similar proposal solicitation documents and submissions
in response to same, regarding the purchasing of the software and the selection of the consultants” and “copies of the notices of solicitation for proposals for the software and consultant contracts.”

On March 25th, a city staffer acknowledged the request.

On April 2nd, the matter came before Alameda City Council. That night, Deputy Manager Alex Nguyen provided to council the names and roles of two of the three consulting firms that accounted for the $95,000 indicated in the staff report. Council unanimously approved the contracts without hearing the name of the third consulting firm.

On April 8th, Action Alameda News prompted a staffer at city hall for a response, and we were told to expect a response from Alex Nguyen the same day. No response has been forthcoming.

Under the California Public Records Act, public agencies generally have 10 days to produce documents in response to a records request, or deny the request under a lawful exemption, or explain that it needs more time to fulfill the request. To date, the City of Alameda has done none of these.

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