Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Video: Augusta Commission Committee Discusses Heery/Dukes Contract

Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Augusta, GA
From CityStink.net Reports

An Augusta commission committee gave no recommendation to proceed with the multi-million dollar contract with Heery International yesterday, deadlocking at 2 to 1. Marion Williams and Wayne Guilfoyle voted not to proceed with extending the contract as-is. Grady Smith and Corey Johnson voted in favor of extending the contract "as-is". CityStink.net was there yesterday and got exclusive video of the meeting including where Cost Recovery Specialist Al Gray challenged Heery officials. You can watch that video below.

You can also see our most current investigative pieces concerning the Heery saga:

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Marble Palace Identity Crisis

These folks DO need badges

by Bradley E. Owens

This legendary scene from the movie Treasure of the Sierra Madre perfectly captures the mess that the City of Augusta has gotten into in its “Program Management” contract with Heery International/Dukes, Edward, Dukes?/Gallop and Associates?/The Ghost of Ed McIntyre?
Tears of hilarity come so freely that it is hard to describe this – the latest Augusta fiasco to emerge from the bi-weekly clown parade that terminates in the 8th Floor Commission chambers.

Who are these guys?

The city doesn’t seem to know for certain. Read this exchange from 
the special called meeting of April 12, 2004.

Mr. Boyles: I remember it was in the committee room and I think it was a special called meeting or else an Administrative Services work session or something. But I remember, I remember the term. I was trying to remember the name. It was kind of strange. Dukes Edwards Dukes.  Strange name.  But - and that was a part of Heery. I think they were a part of the presentation that day. So I've kind of - I wonder what, what happened with that portion. Dukes Edwards Dukes is still in, so. But the contract says Augusta, Georgia and Heery International.

Mr. Speaker: They're-

Mr. Boyles: So they're a part of you?

Mr. Speaker: They're a sub consultant. They're a part of our team.

Mr. Boyles: They're a part of Heery?

Mr. Speaker: Yeah, right. This is not a joint venture.

Mr. Boyles: So it's not?

Mr. Speaker: Correct.

Fast forward to the
the Amendment executed by Fred Russell with Heery in January 2012.

"The end result will be the elimination of one Heery and one Dukes Edwards Dukes position leaving us with two full time Heery employees (Gregory Shipe and myself) and two full time Dukes Edwards Dukes employees (Jacques Ware and Rhonda Wheeler)."

Commissioner Boyles was onto something.  The contract is between Augusta and Heery International. There is no indication of the relationship of Heery and Dukes, Edwards, Dukes in the contract itself and the service contractor writing this wonders how Augusta and the employees of Dukes, Edward, Dukes are legally bound when Dukes is not a contract signatory and is only mentioned in contract Appendix B and
and in this manner:

"The Heery Team including the Consultants (Dukes, Edwards, and Duke) for the project will be billed at the appropriate hourly rates included in the Billing Rate Schedule. The cost for the Heery Team including these Consultants is included in the NTE contract amount."
What are these guys?

The Contract between Augusta and Heery International says that there are
"No Third-Party Beneficiaries" and that neither party can assign the Contract. No mention of Gallop and Associates was found in the contract or the appendices to it. This was done on the recommendation of Augusta's legal counsel.
All of Augusta’s rights under this contract seem to be with respect to Heery International. Augusta has audit rights to Heery, but where are those rights with respect to Duke and Gallop? How about insurance? If Augusta made a claim against Heery based upon the work of Dukes or Gallop consultants, would Heery’s Insurer pay the claim? The list of adverse things looks endless with this set-up.

How did the contract with these guys make Augusta worse than the Federal Government?

Not only does Augusta have a contract that doesn’t spell out with certainty whom they are paying for, it doesn’t specify what Augusta is paying for.  No descriptions of what the billed job titles require in education, experience, certifications, or achievements is found in Augusta’s contract with Heery.
Contrast this withthe Federal Government’s contract with Heery. The Federal government wouldn’t allow rates of $150 to $240 an hour to be charged without defining exact qualifications for those jobs!

The highest rate that the Federal General Services Administration has with Heery
is $181.50 in the contract for professional engineering services and the highest rate that Heery has in its GSA EnergyService Contract is $163.43. Augusta’s billing rates for 2013 feature three service people of over $200 an hour including Mr. Butch Gallop. Does Butch have the qualifications of the Heery GSA most senior folks? I can’t buy that! 

Where do these guys work and should it make a difference?

The Augusta contract of Heery (and consultants?) calls for Augusta to furnish transportation, living expenses, telecommunications, relocation costs and on-site office expenses. If Augusta is furnishing the office space, shouldn’t that mean that the rates should be lower for personnel who are sited in Augusta than those from the Heery or Dukes, Edward, Dukes’ home offices? 
Maybe the new rates are lower to reflect such considerations, but, for some reason the new rates are missing from the proposal letter for the new extension.

When does it all stop?

Augusta will have on-going sales tax projects under SPLOST and TSPLOST, so there might be a need for program management services from now on.  Use Heery and improve Heery or lose Heery? That is the question Augusta commissioners will decide on Monday.


Bradley E. Owens is President of Osprey Security Services Osprey Security Services and founder of the Augusta Today Facebook Group focused upon securing taxpayer assets and guarding the public from waste, corruption, mismanagement and inefficiency. Mr. Owens is a frequent contributor on topics involving service contracts.

*Cost Recovery specialist Al Gray provided assistance with this report