Below you see an article from 1992 discussing the same issues I shared occurring under Rawlings-Blake administration. This is Maryland corruption and Baltimore is ground zero for it. When Abell Foundation does an audit and writes a report that shows the naked truth of nothing existing in Baltimore agency revenue flow THIS IS NOT NEW ----IT IS STRUCTURAL..
When Wall Street Baltimore Development was created several decades ago as a quasi-governmental agency---that is when very neo-conservative Johns Hopkins and the city's rich started this fraud and corruption cartel process at a large scale. I'm sure MobTown had players long before this. At the same time all Baltimore agencies were dismantled of oversight and accountability----Baltimore Development created a Baltimore Board of Estimate bidding process that mirrors Maryland State awarding. It basically creates a guideline for awarding contracts so loose and subjective that any award can be justified for any reason. I was told Baltimore revised this toothless bidding process a decade ago most likely to start awarding contracts to national and global corporations instead of local and state business players.
To stop all this corporate fraud this is where you start------you look at processes and rules around bidding processes and give them teeth.
THE COURTS NEVER RULE AGAINST THESE PLAYERS BECAUSE THE JUDGES CAN ALWAYS SAY -----THIS STATUTE DOES NOT DEFINE WHAT CONSTITUTES ILLLEGAL ACTION.
Every law written these few years in the Maryland Assembly were deliberately written so vague as to mean nothing----but they were given a progressive title made to look like these corporate pols were holding corporations and the process accountable.
The Abell Foundation knows these guidelines and their history of allowing systemic fraud---it hints to a problem---but says very politely----I DON'T THINK THEY ARE TRYING TO HIDE ANYTHING.
'But Cristie Cole, who researched the report for the Baltimore-based Abell Foundation, said the report wasn’t able to really answer those questions or analyze contract cost overruns. Instead, the report chronicles unsuccessful attempts to access information. “I don’t think they’re trying to hide anything,” she said in an interview on Monday. “I think that the system was not set up to keep careful track of these records. Essentially you need records of records.”'
Subverting the Bidding Process
September 27, 1992|By BARRY RASCOVAR Baltimore Sun
Remember the furor that surrounded the state's lucrative computer contract for the lottery agency last year?
An even bigger controversy is about to break loose, one that has some state officials alarmed.
What's involved are attempts to tamper with the state's procurement system and heavy-handed intervention by legislators on behalf of one bidder for the state's new vehicle emissions inspection program (VEIP).
How heavy-handed? State transportation officials have been threatened with retribution at next year's General Assembly session if they don't hand the VEIP contract over to this bidder. A meeting in the governor's office saw legislators demand that the bidding process be wiped out and their ally awarded the contract by fiat -- a contract worth tens of millions of dollars.
Those involved in these discussions include some of the state's most influential legislators, including Sen. Clarence Blount, chairman of the Senate Economic and Environmental Affairs Committee, and Del. Howard P. Rawlings, the new chairman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee that has jurisdiction over this VEIP contract.
What the state is seeking is a VEIP program in which a private developer builds auto-emissions stations to meet new Clean Air Act standards in 1995. The state would then buy these sites from the developer, who would continue to manage the testing facilities. Capital outlays would be $60 million to $80 million; operating revenues over $20 million a year.
This is a huge contract, one that should be handled by the book.
The state's procurement law requires a process that starts with detailed bidding instructions, known as a request for proposal (RFP). But the current operator of the state's emission facilities (he bought the business just this spring in a leveraged buyout) has cried foul. Members of the Legislative Black Caucus have gone to bat for him. They claim the RFP is racially biased against the current operator, who is black.
In fact, the current operator has objected to most of the state's efforts to open up the bidding process. His friends in the legislature want to close the process to everyone except their ally.
Instead of the "level playing field" sought by transportation officials, objecting legislators want a sharply slanted field that favors their bidder.
This bidder also wants to stop the state from owning these emissions-testing stations. Yet a consultant concluded that state ownership, combined with private construction and private management, would be the best deal for motorists, who will foot the bill through emissions-inspection fees.
Letting a private firm own the sites would wind up costing motorists more in fees and also give the firm a decided advantage when it comes time for renewal of this contract in three to five years.
That was the case the last time the state re-bid its auto-emissions contract. The company then operating the stations won the bid, but officials feel this was due to an unfair advantage, an advantage they believe cost motorists dearly in higher emissions-testing charges.
This time, transportation officials want to make sure Marylanders get a break. State ownership of the sites ensures all bidders an equal chance. It also keeps the cost down to motorists, since it is far cheaper to float state bonds for this project than to finance it privately at far higher interest rates.
But coming up with a "clean" bidding contest is becoming increasingly difficult.
The current operator has hired a bevy of high-priced lobbyists; one of the other interested bidders has hired superlobbyist Bruce Bereano and his sidekick, former Gov. Marvin Mandel, the duo that succeeded in winning the controversial lottery contract. In that case, they did an end-run around the state procurement law; this time, ironically, they are trying to uphold the sanctity of that same law.
Meanwhile, state legislators are mucking around in a bidding process designed to prevent political tampering.
Have our leaders forgotten the Agnew scandals that led to procurement-law reforms? Do we have to be reminded by the U.S. attorney every 15 or 20 years of the bounds of proper behavior in the State House?
Another big scandal may be headed directly toward the State House. Already, savvy officials are taking cover.
Barry Rascovar is editorial-page director of The Sun.
All of this collusion between the richest in Baltimore and the black political machines makes people think-----this will never be changed. Not really. Now that Baltimore is being moved into a global arena black citizens are being left behind and if International Economic Zone policies are installed---the crony in Baltimore goes global.
Old-school Baltimore pols need to go but we must stop Baltimore Development and Johns Hopkins from creating this farm team of players-----NOT POLITICIANS.
Rebuilding oversight and accountability in Baltimore pushes pressure on Maryland government to clean up its act. A mayor would look not only on how local policy effects the Baltimore economy-----but how state and Federal policy does as well. If the policies coming from Congress and Obama are unconstitutional and crony----if policy passed by Maryland Assembly is unconstitutional and vague---THE MAYOR OF BALTIMORE WOULD FIGHT THOSE LAWS AND POLICIES.
It is not hard to establish a just bidding process for the city----it starts by ending MUCH OF THE outsourcing----ending awards to national and global corporations----and ends the process of 'approved contractors lists'. The goal of government contracting should be to provide lots of opportunity to create lots of competition and lots of people in communities having a small business.
THAT IS WHAT GOVERNMENT CONTRACTING UNDER SOCIAL DEMOCRACY LOOKED LIKE FOR A CENTURY.
Why outsourcing government work to the private sector is dumb
Outsourcing government work to the private sector may not be as cheap as advertised
By Jared Bernstein, Guest blogger September 14, 2011
Here’s a great read from this AMs NYT on how the outsourcing of jobs by the federal government ends up costing more than it would to do the work in-house.
“The study found that in 33 of 35 occupations, the government actually paid billions of dollars more to hire contractors than it would have cost government employees to perform comparable services. On average, the study found that contractors charged the federal government more than twice the amount it pays federal workers.”
But wait, you’re thinking…isn’t it well established that government workers are paid more than comparable workers in the private sector? (Actually, that’s typically not the case for workers in white collar professions; more so for blue collar.)
Well, the folks who did this study—The Project on Government Oversight—went about it in a more revealing way than simply comparing pay rates between sectors. They compared the costs of private sector contracts with what it would cost to do the work by the federal workforce. The result, then, is due to the mark-ups over labor costs in the contracts.
In other words, while the pay differential between a government accountant and a private sector accountant is about $40,000 per year ($125K vs $83K, see Table 1 in the report), the annual billing rate by the contractor is $299K! Peruse this table…it’s an eye-opener.
It’s a great example of how you’ve got to carefully check out those knee-jerk, ideologically-motivated positions like the one that we can save taxpayers oodles by outsourcing government work to the oh-so-efficient private sector. It’s but one study, and it’s worth following up with more of this type of research. But it suggests that while the private sector may pay its line workers less than does the gov’t, somebody’s cleaning up on the overhead, and at taxpayers’ expense.
YOU MEAN A MAYOR OF BALTIMORE DOES NOT HAVE TO FILL BALTIMORE DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION WITH A BUNCH OF GLOBAL FINANCIAL FIRMS AND CORPORATIONS?
Below you see the Republican dream come true-----block granting all Federal funding so that the rich and connected control all use of Federal funds at state and local level. This takes away the power of graft leading to local fat cats-----and moves all of the graft to national players. Nixon made this the first attempt to undermine HUD funding by handing more and more control of these Federal funds to those 'partners' locally which today are now global Wall Street banks and investment firms. All Baltimore City Federal HUD funds are tied to a Wells Fargo or Wall Street investment firm that in no way allows any local citizens have voice in what these projects look like.
THIS IS WHAT LED TO BEHIND THE DOOR BALTIMORE DEVELOPMENT PROPRIETARY POLICY WHERE CITIZENS ARE NOT ALLOWED.
In fairness to Nixon-----he was pre-breaking Glass Steagall and may not have imagined that these block grants would go from local crony rich control to Wall Street global rich control.
THESE ARE THE FUNDS THAT A MAYOR OF BALTIMORE WOULD NEED TO HAVE CLOSE CONTROL OF WHO THE 'STAKEHOLDERS' ARE. SO, IF YOU ARE A MAYOR WHO WORKS FOR NEO-CONSERVATIVE JOHNS HOPKINS---BALTIMORE DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION IS FILLED WITH CORPORATE PLAYERS----
This is what took all the Federal funding coming to Baltimore and handed all control to Johns Hopkins and their appointed 'stakeholders'. A Mayor of Baltimore has the duty of appointing members to Baltimore Development that should be community members and small business owners from all communities with a dash of community banking.
Creating 'stakeholders' that are not corporate or corporate non-profit is how you take the fraud and corruption out of Baltimore and other US cities when dealing with Federal funds.
Leveraging Funds Through Community
Development Block Grants
Flexibility and community support have enabled the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)
program to provide real help for low-income residents since its inception in 1974. The creative and
innovative use of CDBG dollars has transformed local ideas and designs into practical solutions that
strengthen communities and the bonds between local actors.
Because of direct federal CDBG dollars to local
governments for community development, many
cities across America have been able to complete
projects that once seemed unimaginable. This is not
just a big city, big money program. CDBG also helps
some of America’s smallest cities. The success of the
program lies in its flexibility. Allowing local
governments to create projects that fit their city’s
needs enables them to leverage private sector capital
to complete projects with a public purpose. From
citizen donations, to bank loans to private
investments, it is clear that CDBG money bears a
sense of investor confidence and personal hope.
Administered by the Department of Housing and
Urban Development (HUD), the CDBG program
works to ensure decent affordable housing, provide
services to the most vulnerable in our communities
and create jobs through the expansion and retention
This guide exhibits five city projects that are exemplary in their use of CDBG funds. In particular, these
programs successfully leveraged additional funding from various sources.
So, this is the problem that must be balanced. When I hear Russell calling for a clean bidding process ----which is good----with such emphasis on low bid awards----and no indication that a city needs to promote local businesses with government contract awards----then what we will see are global corporations coming in and every time making the lowest bid because they have the wealth to do this.
GLOBAL CORPORATIONS KILLED OUR LOCAL ECONOMY BY MAKING THEIR GAME THE CHEAPEST IN TOWN----WE DON'T NEED CHEAPEST ALL THE TIME---WE NEED TO PROMOTE OUR CITIZENS AND THEIR RIGHT TO OWN A BUSINESS.
Social benefit legislation considers all of this. Is it really cheaper for a city to award based on one single bid number? When you award by only bid amount and leave Baltimore citizens unemployed and without businesses---the social costs are far higher. That's why we hear all this shouting about how low wages send people to food stamps and Medicaid......
Russell Neverdon on Corruption, Bidding Process in Baltimore, 4.23.14
Published on Apr 23, 2014Russell Neverdon on Corruption, Bidding Process in Baltimore, 4.23.14. Radio One Baltimore WOLB 1010 AM
Redefining who a stakeholder is will be the key to rebuilding a local, domestic economy. One of the favorite terms under Clinton neo-liberalism is WHAT DO THE STAKEHOLDERS WANT?
Well, before globalism American citizens were the stakeholders in their cities and communities. It was the small business person, the homeowners, labor, the schools, the bankers. Remember, everything was small scale then and universities were not corporate----and unions were strong and working for their members.
Today, all public policy is done behind closed doors with the stakeholders being Wall Street investment firms----Wall Street banks, a corporation tied to the development and in Baltimore's case---sadly the Maryland and Baltimore public unions. Unions are now busted and working for global corporations.
When Maryland was building a health system IT structure the stakeholders were the global IT corporations, the national insurance and health corporations, the Wall Street investment firms, and all the consultants.
If Baltimore redefines stakeholders back to small business owners and citizens from each community with a community bank and a university that thought with its students at heart and not as a corporation needing to expand globally.......you would get rid of much of the fraud and corruption.
Ahhhh----what those stakeholders say behind closed doors-----if there's no transparency they are obviously up to no good.
This article is boring-----please glance through while thinking what a stakeholder would be in a local small business city economy.
What is a Stakeholder? How to Identify, Analyze and Manage Project Stakeholders.
As project management has grown as a profession over the years, we’ve seen that projects may vary widely in scope, cost, and timelines. While there is great variety in these areas, projects also share a similarity in many other areas. One area in which all projects share similarity is the area of stakeholders and stakeholder management. What is a stakeholder? Who is a stakeholder? How do we identify and manage stakeholders? The answers to these questions are an important part of successfully managing any project regardless of its complexity.
One of the first steps in project management planning is the identification of stakeholders. In order to accomplish this, you need to understand what a stakeholder is. Loosely defined, a stakeholder is a person or group of people who can affect or be affected by a given project. Stakeholders can be individuals working on a project, groups of people or organizations, or even segments of a population. A stakeholder may be actively involved in a project’s work, affected by the project’s outcome, or in a position to affect the project’s success. Stakeholders can be an internal part of a project’s organization, or external, such as customers, creditors, unions, or members of a community.
Depending on the complexity and scope of a project there may be very few or extremely large numbers of stakeholders. A project may be a part of a city or county public works department and may include all members of the community as stakeholders and number in the thousands. In determining what a stakeholder is, it is important that we consider anyone who may fall into any of these categories. As we move on toward stakeholder identification we must analyze the project landscape and determine what individuals or groups can influence and affect the project or be affected by its performance and outcome.
So what is a Stakeholder? Stakeholders can be:
- The project manager, sponsor, and team
- The customer (individual or organization)
- Suppliers of material or other resources
- City, community, or other geographic region
- Professional organizations
- Any individual or group impacted by the project
- Any individual or group in a position to support or prevent project success
- Internal or external; local or international
So now we have answered the question: what is a stakeholder? The next step is to use this knowledge to answer the question: who is a stakeholder? This question is answered during the stakeholder identification process. Stakeholder identification is the process used to identify all stakeholders for a project. It is important to understand that not all stakeholders will have the same influence or effect on a project, nor will they be affected in the same manner. There are many ways to identify stakeholders for a project; however, it should be done in a methodical and logical way to ensure that stakeholders are not easily omitted. This may be done by looking at stakeholders organizationally, geographically, or by involvement with various project phases or outcomes.
Another way of determining stakeholders is to identify those who are directly impacted by the project and those who may be indirectly affected. Examples of directly impacted stakeholders are the project team members or a customer who the project is being done for. Those indirectly affected may include an adjacent organization or members of the local community. Directly affected stakeholders will usually have greater influence and impact of a project than those indirectly affected. While these details are developed and analyzed further in the Stakeholder Analysis process, it is important to begin thinking about them now and helps provide a systematic way to identify stakeholders.
An outcome of identifying stakeholders should be a project stakeholder register. This is where the project team captures the names, contact information, titles, organizations, and other pertinent information of all stakeholders. This is a necessary tool during Stakeholder Management and will provide significant value for the project team to communicate with stakeholders in an organized manner.
Now that you’ve conducted the Stakeholder Identification process you should have a comprehensive list of all of the project stakeholders. If you’ve used one of the approaches we’ve discussed you should also have them grouped by geographic region, organization, project involvement, or whether or not they’re directly or indirectly impacted by the project. While stakeholder analysis is done for each individual stakeholder, these groupings are helpful in determining the level of detail required in this process.
The stakeholder analysis process requires a close look at each stakeholder to gather more in depth information in order to understand their impact, involvement, communication requirements, and preferences. Is this stakeholder organized? Are they a cohesive organization? Do they support this project or are they critical of it? How influential or powerful are they? Do they prefer to be notified via phone call or email? How often? What is this stakeholder’s interest in this project? These are the types of questions that must be answered in order to provide a complete analysis. Usually a chart or table is used to capture all of this information with stakeholders’ names listed one per row and a list of column headings addressing the types of questions asked above.
Many times a project team will create the stakeholder analysis by using the stakeholder register and simply adding a greater level of detail to each entry. It is recommended to leave these documents separate and create a stakeholder analysis independent of the register. The analysis may contain information that should not be distributed freely to all of the stakeholders as the register should be. In addition to the general information contained in the stakeholder register, the stakeholder analysis contains.
Stakeholder Management is where you will use all of the information you’ve collected and develop a strategy to manage stakeholders. No matter how much you plan or how invested you are in a project, poor stakeholder management can easily cause a project to fail. It is a key component of executing and completing a successful project. A large portion of stakeholder management focuses on communication.
The cornerstone of stakeholder management is understanding who needs what information and when or how often they need it. There will also be stakeholders who support the project and those who may either be opposed to it or who present obstacles to the project’s success. Your stakeholder management strategy must be geared toward maintaining support from those who are in favor of the project while winning over those opposed or at least mitigating the risks they may present.
The questions you’ve asked and answered about each stakeholder in the Stakeholder Analysis process are your guide for how to interact with each stakeholder and satisfy their individual requirements. By determining how powerful a stakeholder is and whether or not they support or oppose the project will allow the project manager to create a strategy for communicating and working with that stakeholder to ensure project success. Some stakeholders may require little interaction or communication while some require nearly constant communication. Stakeholder Management is where these strategies are developed and executed. If a stakeholder is opposed to a project maybe it is because they seek more involvement or awareness and the project manager can work with that individual to win their favor and support.
By understanding what a stakeholder is and using a thorough and systematic approach to Stakeholder Identification, Analysis, and Management, a project manager can significantly improve his or her chances of success. As projects become more complex and involved, so does managing their stakeholders. It is easy to lose track or omit key project players and by not properly utilizing these processes and tools project managers will lose their ability to effectively communicate with stakeholders in a manner necessary to ensure a successful project.
Baltimore City has been so outsourced there is very little of the public sector left. So, when a social Democrat like me starts talking about rebuilding the public sector and stopping so much outsourcing-----all citizens who have been tied to these policies-----non-profits, privatized health and education----all start to worry. Remember, if you are a small business non-profit or health and education business today----very soon all that government money will go to a corporation and you will be again, without a job.
People are so unsure of what a stable economy is after these few decades of Clinton neo-liberalism and Bush neo-conservatism they may not understand that a strong public sector fuels private sector businesses and job growth. THE PUBLIC SECTOR FUELS LOCAL SMALL BUSINESS ECONOMIES IN ALL COMMUNITIES. So, my friends who have non-profits---are they really against becoming a steady, just come to work, public employee? Non-profits under social democracy augment public agencies----they give citizens the ability to help in ways they want----so non-profits are not killed by building a public sector.
What does happen as a public sector becomes strong ------oversight and accountability----effectiveness and efficiency-----adherence to Rule of Law, Equal Protection, and regulations guarding public interest.
Below you see an example. All across the US and especially in Baltimore and Maryland-----community public recreation centers were closed and replaced by what are now called regional rec centers----YWCA/YMCA. As this article shows---this is no longer a non-profit---it is a corporation and taking a communities public recreation space kills that tax benefit for citizens. It also takes away from funding as taxpayer money is now subsidizing a corporation posing as a non-profit.
The YMCA has changed dramatically. Many Ys now
operate their fitness centers more like a business
than a charity.
n Many YMCAs are almost indistinguishable from
fitness clubs that pay taxes — except at tax time.
n 37% of YMCA member households have incomes
of $75,000-plus and 74% pay full fees — very
similar to the membership profiles of tax-paying
n Nearly 33% of local YMCAs offer no fee discounts
for needy residents of their community.*
n The YMCA is the largest non-profit institution in
the United States, with nearly 2,600 local clubs with
20 million members. Its annual revenues, including
user fees, exceeding $4.75 billion:
n Just like a taxpaying fitness club, the majority of the
YMCA’s revenue comes from membership sales.
Fully 78% of YMCA revenues come from selling
memberships, not from donations.*
n About 65% of YMCA members pay to use the
YMCA exclusively for fitness services — just like
the customers of tax-paying health clubs.*
Selling adult fitness services is a business.
n This is self-evident and irrefutable.
Selling subsidized fitness to adults who can
pay their own way subverts the purpose of tax
n Tax exemption is a privilege, not a right.
n Congress never intended that tax-exemption
would be used to build businesses that are virtually
indistinguishable from the taxpaying competitors.
The root problem is lax enforcement of existing
tax laws, which encourages tax-exempt
organizations to abuse their exemptions.
n Despite aggressive growth in revenues, the
YMCA received $527,934,000 in taxpayer-funded
government support in 2004, second only to the
Catholic Charities USA.
Charitable donations are finite, so the public
interest suffers when a YMCA that operates
like a business competes with true charities for
donations. In fact it’s a double hit, because the
public loses both tax revenue and vital charitable
n The more the Y targets adult fitness customers,
the less it serves those who truly need help. As the
YMCA expands in affluent areas rather than underserved
communities, both tax revenues and efforts
devoted to truly charitable purposes diminish.
n Tax-exempt fitness clubs can also hurt the local
n The Y’s exemption from income and property taxes,
and its donors’ ability to take tax deductions for
their contributions taxes is a major subsidy from
n Giving tax breaks to some fitness clubs but not
others discourages expansion and investment
by taxpaying businesses. In extreme cases taxsubsidized
competition from the YMCA has
forced taxpaying fitness clubs to close. This reduces
municipal revenues and destroys jobs.
n Those losses, in turn, increase the pressure to raise
taxes on other businesses and property owners.
n On average only 10% of Americans belong to a
fitness club at any one time. YMCA clubs often
duplicate services already offered by tax-paying
health clubs. Often they pressure local governments
to give land or funds to new YMCA facilities.
When this happens, taxpayers are bearing costs for
services that nearly 90% of them will not use.