May 5, 2011
CONTACT: Lani Lutar
619-234-6423 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR
619-997-2495 or email@example.com
SDCTA Calls for Redistricting Commission To Reconsider Contract Award
Commission “cannot afford any perception of bias” that would compromise process
(San Diego) – The San Diego County Taxpayers Association expressed concerns over the escalating controversy regarding a recommendation to award a contract for data analysis and computer-aided mapping by the San Diego Redistricting Commission.
The Commission rejected three initial bids, and will vote this afternoon on a recommendation the contract go to the San Diego Data Processing Corporation, the city-controlled agency that provides San Diego's IT services. Critics argue the award appears to politicize a process that should be impartial and non-partisan.
Lani Lutar, President & CEO, said SDCTA is concerned that such a decision would further compromise the perception the Commission is politically biased.
“Whether or not any of the individual bidders is qualified to do the work is not the focus, though DPC has no experience in the mapping work required,” said Lutar. “It’s a problem of process. If none of the initial bids were responsive, the process should be reopened. The request for proposals may need clarification so the bids are more responsive. Whatever needs to be done, it makes no sense to select a contractor that apparently doesn’t meet the criteria.
“Even more troubling is the reality that the San Diego Data Processing Corporation is about to be outsourced by the City of San Diego. By having a hand in redrawing council district boundaries, DPC staff could impose retribution against councilmembers who supported outsourcing, and draw them in favor of candidates who oppose outsourcing,” pointed out Lutar. “There is more than enough political motivation for DPC to not be objective and it should not be involved as a contractor in this process.”
Lutar pointed out that the Commission has been under fire for its alleged lack of impartiality. “This Commission cannot afford any perception of bias that would compromise the redistricting process and the decisions it eventually makes. It must take extra care to avoid even the appearance that it is less than impartial and objective as possible.”
Lutar will testify on behalf of the Association at this afternoon’s Redistricting Commission meeting at 4 p.m. at San Diego City Hall, 12th floor, urging the Commission to re-open the bidding process for this critically important contract.
The San Diego County Taxpayers Association is a non-profit, non-partisan organization, dedicated to promoting accountable, cost-effective and efficient government and opposing unnecessary new taxes and fees. Founded in 1945, SDCTA has spent the past 66 years saving the region’s taxpayers millions of dollars, as well as generating information to help educate the public.