Software surprises, costs stall purchases
Last Modified: March 29. 2013 11:59AM
PLAINS TWP. – The Wilkes-Barre Area Career and Technology Center Joint Operating Committee tabled two software purchases worth a total of at least $80,000 after questions were raised regarding short notice on one purchase and competitive pricing on the other.
The committee tabled a motion to replace outdated student and administration management software at a first-year cost of $51,306, and $3,500 each of the following two years. Center Technology Coordinator Bill Christian said the current software is no longer supported by the state, which requires such software in part for reporting purposes to the state.
But Crestwood representative Gene Mancini said neither his district superintendent nor Wilkes-Barre Area Superintendent Bernard Prevuznak knew about the change from CIMS software to Skyward.
When other committee members were polled – all are school board members representing their respective districts that send students to the center – most said their superintendents had likewise not mentioned the change. Mancini moved to table the purchase, and the committee agreed.
The JOC also tabled a motion to enter an agreement for additional software designed “to meet the specific needs of small higher institutions such as schools of nursing,” from RJM Systems Inc.
The software would cost $15,000 the first year and $6,880 each of the next two, plus a one-time set-up fee of $3,000 and $90 per student.
Wilkes-Barre Area representative Phil Latinski moved to table the vote and to authorize the administration to issue a request for proposals to see if other companies would be willing to offer comparable service for less money. The committee agreed.
Mancini also questioned a $6,999 expenditure for doors to be installed in a room where computer servers were moved. Mancini said the servers had been moved to make room for expansion of the school’s practical nursing program and that the old location had doors. He moved that the money for the new doors come from the nursing program’s budget, a motion the committee also approved.
At the end of the meeting, Mancini asked about the purchase of iPads. He said the JOC had approved buying three and asked how many the center had bought.
Christian said the original three were bought followed by 30 more that are being distributed to staff. Mancini said the board had never voted to buy the 30 iPads. “I know we used grant money, but shouldn’t it have come before the board?”
Solicitor Jack Dean said he will research the matter today, noting that if the grant was specifically for the purchase, it may not have required a board vote.