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Report: Internet provider 'gouged' City of Harrisburg - abc27 WHTM

Report: Internet provider 'gouged' City of Harrisburg

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) -

A confidential report by an independent information technology expert has found the City of Harrisburg overspent hundreds of thousands of dollars for phone and Internet services.

When Mayor Eric Papenfuse’s administration took over, city departments began an internal review of their finances. A source close to city government said the administration sought pro bono consulting work to have an audit conducted in the information technology department.

The consultant completed the report and offered recommendations to the city. The consultant wished to remain anonymous given the business they conducted with other service providers and technology companies.

According to the expert's report, viewed by abc27, service provider Windstream was "gouging the city" with unnecessary services. The consultant said the city spent years “wasting money.”

The current Windstream contract shows the city pays $8,887.81 a month for phone and Internet services. The yearly total is $106,653.72. The consultant pointed to additional fees and services included in the contract that the city did not need.

The consultant sought bids from competitors, and one bid from a household service provider offered $4,391.15 a month, which would save the city $53,959.92 a year.

A source close to this contract told abc27 that a former city employee who worked in the IT department left the city and took a job with Windstream, who negotiated the contract.

It is unclear how long the city entered into the contract with Windstream, but the source for this story believed the contract was under former mayors Linda Thompson and Stephen Reed.

The consultant said the city is in dire need of a qualified chief information officer who understands technology contracts.

Communication director Joyce Davis said the city could not comment on pending contracts or a confidential report, but she said the city is looking into doing business with another provider.

A Windstream representative said they would look into the matter.


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