Roxbury Community College drops IT privatization plan

Source: Lauren Krantz, Boston Globe, January 18, 2016

Roxbury Community College has abandoned a plan to privatize its information technology department after the state auditor criticized the school for failing to competitively bid the deal, documents show. After the auditor’s reprimand, the troubled college announced last month it will again use college employees to run the department, even as it simultaneously fired the department’s unionized workers and continues to pay the private contractor. … The auditor’s office said the college should take extra precaution when hiring private companies because it has a history of ignoring public bid laws, which are intended to protect taxpayer dollars. … On Dec. 15, the college informed the auditor it would not go through with the privatization, although it has said it still plans to pay CampusWorks for two years during the transition. The day before that letter, however, Roberson sent notices to the department’s five unionized members, who belong to a local chapter of the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees, saying they would be laid off due to “fiscal and programmatic reasons.”