Get Real (ID)—following up

We’ve received an e-mail from Ted Farnen at the Department of Revenue that sheds some light on our previous “Get Real (ID)” blog from yesterday in which Senator Schaefer’s claim that the department is improperly disposing of state property is addressed. Ted explained the steps for us to look at the contract that indicates the vendor–and its successors–was required to maintain ownership of the equipment. Here’s what Ted told us:

“The allegation that the Department of Revenue is not properly disposing of “state property” is not correct. In the contract the state signed with Polaroid, in Section 3.1.4 of Section 7 of Exhibit C, it clearly notes the following: “Except as otherwise provided herein, the contractor (Polaroid) must purchase and retain ownership of all equipment, software and materials provided as a part of the contract. ” This makes it clear that the photographic equipment was never state property that had to be disposed of as surplus property.

I think there might also be a misunderstanding about what company with which the state and the Department of Revenue has been dealing. Our driver license vendor in 1972 was a company called DEK. Since that time, that company and its successors have been acquired or purchased by other companies. The company that the state signed the contract with in 2001 was Polaroid Identification Systems. The most recent change occurred in 2011 when L-1 Identity Solutions was acquired by MorphoTrust USA, and that’s who we deal with now.”

Ted told us that MorphoTrust USA is a successor to DEK. A company called Digimarc acquired the government programs business from Polaroid in 2–1. L-1 acquired Digimarc’s secure identity division in 2008 and then MorphoTrust acquired L-1 in 2011. So that’s how the Revenue Department deals with the return of equipment to “the vendor” which retains ownership of it.

Reading government contracts might not be somewhat less interesting than the latest Grisham novel but if you want to read the contract—which is probably a good idea to understand the department’s side of this part of the issue—here are Ted’s instructions for how you can do that:

The contract (#C201040001) can be viewed by following the instructions below.

1. Open this link – <http://oa.mo.gov/purch/webimaging/Homepage.htm>

2. Click on “Please Enter Here…” at the bottom of the page and click “Okay” on drop down

3. Select a saved search…open drop down and select “Search by Contract Number” and type the applicable contract number in the contract number box and enter.

When you get to the screen where it shows you the first 10 choices for the contract, click the word “Next” in the blue ribbon of choices directly below the words “Office of Administration – Awarded Bid & Contract Document Search.” This should take you to a page that has choices of lines 11-20. Click on 12.

Once you get to that new window, click on the icon that looks like a piece of paper with the # symbol in it. It is on the top of the new screen, directly in the middle. This will let you look up separate pages rather than having to go through all 274 pages. The page in question is page 82.

Here’s a couple of hints from your kindly blog composer to avoid some mini-frustration.

You’ll need to have the Oracle viewer on your computer. And you’ll need to have your pop-up blocker turned off.

When you type in, or copy in, the contract number in the blank you are requested tofill in, don’t make the “#” part of it. Just go with the number. We tried about three times before it dawned on us to not use the “#.”  In the process we started to mutter things that are often expressed by the other symbols above the numbers on our keyboard.  But Ted and the Learfield IT department worked us through it.

Again, the section Ted suggests we read is Section 3.1.4 of Section 7 of Exhibit C,

Not many of us have a chance or take the time to pore through a government contract. But here’s your opportunity to learn a little something about what it takes for government to do business with private companies and vice-versa.

We thank Ted Farnen for getting this information to us.

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