Basis for Investigation:
• On April 21, 2022, the City Council issued Resolution No. R-22-201 in order to “commence an investigation into procurement practices and activities involving the Mayor’s Office of Utilities (the “Utilities Office”), including without limitation the selection of Smart+Connected NOLA for smart cities and public Wi-Fi deployment in New Orleans.” • Notwithstanding the City Council’s request, the OIG had initiated an investigation into the awarding of this RFP and the potential issues surrounding the award.
The OIG Recommendations:
• The OIG recommends that all City agreements, including pro bono MOUs, be uploaded into BRASS. In addition, the OIG recommends that all City agreements should include the OIG cooperation clause, as shown below, which was not present in the MOU with IGNITE: o The Contractor will abide by all provisions of City Code § 2-1120, including but not limited to City Code § 2-1120(12), which requires the Contractor to provide the Office of Inspector General with documents and information as requested. Failure to comply with such requests shall constitute a material breach of the contract. The Contractor agrees that it is subject to the jurisdiction of the Orleans Parish Civil District Court for purposes of challenging a subpoena.
• City Code Sections 2-691 and Section 2-692 do not exempt a person in Rhodes7 position from reporting an interest in a business that has no income. However, to provide further clarification, the OIG recommends the City Council revise City Code Section 2-692(b), which establishes dollar value categories for required disclosure, to read “Category I: $0 to $5,000.00”, rather than “Category I: less than $5,000.00”.
• The OIG also recommends that the City should require companies and persons who volunteer their services to the City to complete the same annual Louisiana Ethics training that is mandatory for public employees pursuant to La. R.S. 42:1170. The City should also require companies and persons who volunteer their services to the City to adhere to the following provision of La. R.S. 42:1121(B)( 1) in the same manner required of public employees providing assistance to others after termination of their public service.