Thursday, April 2, 2009

More on Xerox and the New York City Department of Education

I found this thread this morning. But it turns out the NY Times had it yesterday. In my defense it has graduated to the newspaper. So far it's on the City Room Blog. A quick Google News Search at 5:00 pm EST brought it up.

On the other hand, you don't get to ToughLove until number 2 on the second page of a "Xerox" Search on the blogs. But, on the third hand, a Google Blog search on "Xerox +NYC," puts Tough Love in the number one position on the first page.

Anyway, here's the link to the NY Times blog and a snippet below:

In blistering testimony before the City Council’s Education Committee, Mr. Thompson, a candidate for mayor, said a review by his office had found that over the past two fiscal years, the sum of certain contracts had ballooned to $1 billion from initial estimates of $325 million. That includes one contract with Xerox Corporation that was initially projected at $1 million and came in at $68 million, he said.

“It is outrageous,” Mr. Thompson said at a news conference that seemed aimed at chipping away at the educational accomplishments that Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg is making a cornerstone of his re-election campaign. “To see this lack of accountability on contracts is frightening.”

Education officials defended their spending, explaining that the contracts Mr. Thompson zeroed in on, known as requirement contracts [pdf], are expected to fluctuate in response to demand by individual schools. Photeine Anagnostopoulos, chief operating officer of the school system, said it was impossible to predict the popularity of a particular service — for instance, special education tutoring — and that costs naturally soar when more schools begin adopting it.

“In some ways, it’s sort of a ridiculous thing to look at,” Ms. Anagnostopoulos said in an interview, noting that while estimates may have changed, the city’s balance sheets had not. “We are not over our budget.”

"It may or may not be a ridiculous thing to look at", but consider the business climate these days. Then consider that Wagoner and his Board of Directors at GM got fired. Then consider that the G-20 is all about regulation and executive comp. Then consider that Mayor Mike is going to have to respond. Then consider that everyone knows that education is running out of money and has to be fixed.

I'm assuming that the Xerox PR firm is having a very, very hectic day, but someone might want to give Mayor Mike a call. That is if he hasn't called you yet.

Go Mets!

Gee, wouldn't it be cool if Xerox had a Corporate Communication Printernet Publishing system up and running? They could have a milllion print pieces in the hands of every teacher and politician in New York tomorrrow telling their side of the story.

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