Richmond, VA—8News continues its investigation into allegations of waste and violations of Virginia law at the State Corporation Commission. After poring over hundreds of pages of SCC contract documents, we found a number of violations.
We discovered that the SCC has issued numerous contract modifications to their IT contractor, CGI. CGI was awarded several contracts "sole source," which means no other contractors were given the opportunity to bid on the work.
The first sole source never justifies why CGI's price is reasonable, something Virginia's procurement manual clearly says is a mandatory part of the file.
The SCC's contract with CGI more than doubled from $3 million to more than $7 million, as work was underway to build the E-File system. The E-file system provides online payment and filing services to the public on the SCC website.
In multiple contract modifications, CGI was awarded additional money: one modification offered an extra $805,195, resulting in a 27.6 percent hike over the original contract amount.
Richard Sliwoski, Director of the Virginia Department of General Services, confirmed to 8News that according to state code, when a contract in Virginia goes up by more than 25 percent, either he or the governor must sign off on it.
"It's either the governor or his designee and I am his designee."
In two contract modifications we questioned, Sliwoski's signature is missing.
Instead, the signature on the documents belongs to the SCC's Chief Administrative Officer, Danny Payne. The second contract modification was also for more than a 25 percent increase in the original contract cost…it is worth $782,000.
The SCC responded to our inquires by saying it is "longstanding practice that [DGS] has not issued, supervised or administered contracts for the SCC, a policy which the SCC logically understood to include also not approving modifications of SCC contracts."
The statement continues, "This practice stems from the fact that under the Constitution of Virginia, the SCC is an independent department of government."
They are correct, the SCC is an independent state agency, and they are clearly listed as such on Virginia's organizational chart.
But the SCC's own procurement manual says "all" procurement actions "shall" be in accordance with the "Agency Procurement and Surplus Property Manual," also known as the APSPM.
The APSPM says the only agencies exempt from following DGS purchasing rules and regulations are "Judicial and Legislative branch agencies." Again, the SCC is an independent state agency.
As far as the big dollar contract modifications Danny Payne signed off on, Richard Sliwoski says, "From my viewpoint, I would question whether they are valid or not."
To read the full statement from the SCC in response to our investigation, please click here.
Stay with 8News for updates.
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