An auditor’s investigation of the Harford County Department of Information and Communication Technology appeared to have uncovered a bevy of irregularities and potential abuses, including no-bid contracts of up to $250,000, a five-figure contract to update Facebook and Twitter, and irregular payment practices, according to a document obtained by The Dagger.
According to the undated agenda of a meeting between auditors SB & Co. and county officials, the firm uncovered a number of “concerns” surrounding the IT department’s practices.
Among them were a number of no-bid contracts between $25,000 and $250,000; inconsistencies in ethics disclosure forms; a contract for $49,800 to an unidentified CEO of a technology company to “update Twitter and Facebook”; and payments and contracts which were directed to a private mailbox at a public storage company not related to a technology company.
According to the document, the department was “working to change procurement procedures,” but other investigations were pending at the time of the meeting.
Justus Eapen, who had been director of the department through at least last month, was “no longer employed” by the county as of Wednesday, a Dagger reporter seeking comment was told by an individual answering the department’s phone line. The individual said Ted Pibil Jr., who is listed on the department’s online directory as its “business architect,” was filling the role.
Eapen was appointed to the office by County Executive David Craig, and approved for the position by the county council in July. None of Eapen, Pibil or Harford County Director of Human Resources Scott Gibson responded to requests by The Dagger to speak or provide information about the matter.
The SB & Co. agenda follows: