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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Computer Consulting Firm Cited for Dubious Billing

A computer consulting firm in New York City that made tens of millions of dollars from a variety of city organizations over the past ten years is in danger of losing all its contracts. The firm was called into question for its accounting practices recently.

The computer consulting company, Data Industries, Ltd., had supplied computer services and support to many city agencies, including the Department of Education and the Department of Housing. Its practices remained under the radar of officials until December, when Department of Education investigator Richard Condon noted that a per diem consultant went outside the realm of DOE contract rules and took approximately $1.5 million dollars from a school district with the help of several vendors, including Data Industries.

Condon discovered that the employee was originally hired to bill at $25 per hour, but that with mark-ups made by Data Industries and other vendors, the school was charged $78.50 per hour for work done. Condon and other officials met January 31 to determine the best course of action, and it was recommended by all that the contracts be terminated and the vendors investigated.

Quite a few computer consulting companies providing services to many city agencies have been in question for the past three years, starting with a case in which a consultant billed the Housing Department over $437,000 for the work he did in 2002 alone. While companies defended his actions, he was let go shortly after the story broke.

Blogged By: Joshua Feinberg