Mission Viejo The “closed shop” city part 2

MV Council majorityOver the past few years watchdogs in Mission Viejo have questioned why one favorite vendor is awarded virtually every contract.

This council majority reminds me of the famous three monkeys. “Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil.”

 The following is one example of how the city of Mission Viejo is broken. We suffer from a lack of oversight.

Two months ago I published a story entitled “Is Mission Viejo a “closed city” to contractors?”
Case in point. In that report I commented that the city of Mission Viejo has published a listing of approximately 300 names of city consultants for fiscal year 08-09. There are only two names to be found in the category of “construction design services.” They are Richard Fisher Associates and RJM Design.

To recap: Richard Fisher and Associates received six purchase orders from Jan 2006 through April of 2010 totaling roughly $76,357.
 During that same timeframe RJM Design was awarded over $One million dollars with 28 “no bid” purchase orders.

As typical for any city, the department head has a cap under which there is no requirement for obtaining council approvals on purchase orders below said limits.

What I held back in the August post related to insider activity relating to one of the RJM purchase orders that  is in my files.
Follow the sequence between Nancy Livingston in Finance and Director Keith Rattay relating to vendor RJM Design.

“From Nancy Livingston to Dir. Keith Rattay on May 26th 11:39 a.m Subject. Purchase requisitions.
I have questions/comments about two Public service requisitions pending in IFAS.

Re: PR R9920 to RJM for $7,500 for “schematic sign design services for pilaster signage,” is that for the Crown Valley Parkway widening project? There’s not very much description in the proposal or bid recap, so I wasn’t sure. If it is, the costs should probably be charged to the CVP CIP not 547101. If not, then could you provide more description?

Re: PR R9919 to RJM for $9,500 in “miscellaneous design services, etc.” It looks like that requisition should be a change order to existing PO 060161. PO 060161 was issued to RJM in September for $14,900 using a very similar description–miscellaneous design, graphics, coordination, etc. A $9,500 change order to that PO would then, of course, require Council approvals, because of the amount of the initial PO.
Thanks, Nancy

From Nancy Livingston Thursday, June 08  1:38 PM. Subject FW: RJM Purchase Requisitions.

I didn’t hear back from you on these reqs and am still holding onto them, pending the response. I saw that you were going to be out all next week and wanted to remind you before you left.

Also, FYI, we’re trying to set up budget meetings with certain department heads. We’re looking to meet with you on Tues, June 20, from 3-4 p.m.  I’ll send out appt notices once I get the final times figured out.  Nancy

From Keith Rattay to Nancy Thursday, June 08 2:22 PM.

Yes I got your message I am still trying to go through everything from beijing gone. Also I am gone next week too for EOC training!!! (Not wild abut it but promised I would go)

Yes the first one is for CVP and I will bill to that. Tyhe second is a differnt effrot. As they to small assignments for us to cut them purhcase orders. I really do not think we need to go to council on that one. It is not one long continuous project. I will have Maria Fix the CVP one!

Thanks for the reminder!

From Nancy Livingston Thursday, June 08 2:44 PM to Keith Rattay. Subject. RE: RJM Purchase Requisitions.

Okay on the fix to the first req re: CVP. On  the second one, you’re going to have to provide a much different description for it not to be a change order, because the wording is almost exactly the same (and both are pretty generic) for the first PO in the same fiscal year to RJM for $14,900. Can it become a new “miscellaneous” amount for a new 06-07 PO?  Nancy

From Keith Rattay to Nancy Livingston June 08 2:54 PM

No problem. I will develop a different set of words.”

Gilbert comments.  How many problems can you find in these exchanges?

I.e. Potential for doctoring purchase requisitions /purchase orders.

Blank check generic text on purchase orders not subject to any audit.

One vendor being awarded over 90 precent of similar “no bid” work

While some of the purchase orders did require and obtain council approvals, do you truly believe that any of the three monkeys ever questioned why RJM is basically the  only vendor awarded business during this recession?

I intentionally left out the year “2006” that appears in each email exchange.

I have a copy of the two page email from which this post was written. The typos were in that document. As such I have not corrected any of them.

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