Rochester, N.Y. - New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says Monroe County is overpaying around $39 million for public safety services.
According to an audit released Friday, the county is overpaying $39 million for services obtained through a local development corporation created by the county.
"This is a bad deal for taxpayers," said DiNapoli. "Officials claim they were attempting to save money, instead they saddled taxpayers with unnecessary costs for the next two decades."
On January 1, 2010, the county entered into a 20-year contract with the newly formed Monroe Security and Safety Systems LDC, also known as M3S, to provide public safety and security systems and services. The $212 million contract will cost the county an average of $11.2 million per year. Soon afterwards, M3S reached an agreement to pass the terms of the contract on to Navitech Services Corporation - a firm operated by Monroe County's former chief financial officer.
Due to the unfavorable contract terms uncovered in the audit, DiNapoli's office estimates Monroe County will overspend approximately $39 million for public safety and security. Those added costs include:
*The contract with M3S did not specifically address vendor discounts
and, as a result, the county will overpay approximately $12.7 million
for radios and related equipment.
*The county inappropriately took on $5.5 million in debt to pay for
replacement equipment and coverage enhancements that should have been
incurred by the LDC.
*Auditors found that approximately $20.6 million of the total cost of
the contract could not be accounted for.
Auditors found the process followed by the county to obtain the services was not competitive and favored Navitech. Monroe County officials disagreed with the audit's findings. Documents for the audit were obtained by subpoena because county officials did not cooperate with auditors. To read a copy of the report, click here.