Purchasing is Not Retaining Communications Upon Which it has Relied to Amend Solicitations
City staff informed the OIG that the potential vendors at the pre-bid meeting were advised to submit their questions to the Purchasing Specialist and the Account manager via e-mail. In reference to ITB No. 081911, staff indicated they had received numerous emails from potential vendors. At least some of the questions submitted by potential vendors were documented in an addendum to the bid. However, staff were unable to provide the OIG with the correspondence relating to the procurement. Staff informed the OIG that all emails pertaining to ITB No. 081911 were deleted by the Purchasing Specialist and copies were not retained in the file with the procurement. Staff indicated it was not their process to retain email correspondence with the other records pertaining to a specific procurement.
The City normally relies upon a server to backup deleted emails, but the Information Technology (IT) staff indicated that there were known issues with the old system that spurred the City to engage an archiving service for its new email system. The new system will automatically archive emails, and in the case where City staff elects to delete emails, the system will automatically store the information. IT staff indicated that the emails would be archived as long as necessary, but there was no process in place to account for specific retention periods.