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Auditor Finds Contract Numbers Don't Add Up

Denver – Auditor Timothy M. O’Brien, CPA, today refused to sign a $6.1 million contract for services from Oracle until the Technology Services department agreed to seek a contract amendment to make the numbers in the contract match the amount approved by City Council.  “If anyone wonders whether I actually read the 3,500 contracts I sign each year, here’s their answer,” said Auditor O’Brien.  “There was a $500,000 discrepancy between the $6.1 million approved by Council and the actual software and license expenditure numbers in the contract. The contract amount was $500,000 too high.”

Auditor O’Brien waited to sign the contract until he got written confirmation that Technology Services would seek an amendment to reduce the contract amount by $500,000.  Council Resolution 17-0109 is a five-year contract with Bias Corporation, an Oracle vendor, for $6,122,680.  City Council approved it 11-0 at its regular meeting last week.  The amendment reducing the contract amount to the correct number will be prepared in March and submitted to City Council for action.

Auditor O’Brien’s is the last of five official signatures that must be affixed to every City contract, whether or not it is at a level requiring City Council approval.  “The Auditor takes his responsibilities very seriously,” explained Jeffrey A. Garcia, Esq., the Auditor’s Director of Contracts and Accountability.  “People ask me how I can bear to review those thousands of contracts preliminary to the Auditor’s signature.  I just remind myself that we in government have a sacred responsibility to treat the people’s money as carefully as we do our own.  The $500,000 that was incorrectly encumbered by the Oracle contract could pay for a lot of services that residents depend on.”

Auditor O’Brien is the first actual auditor elected to the Denver Auditor’s position in memory.  In addition to being a Certified Public Accountant, Auditor O’Brien also holds the designations of Chartered Financial Analyst and Chartered Global Management Accountant.  The Auditor is tasked with counter-signing all City contracts, auditing City departments and operations, enforcing the City’s prevailing and living wage laws, and chairing the independent Audit Committee.

Download the Oracle contract.

Channel 4 story February 28, 2017

Denver Post story February 28, 2017