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Broward Transit problems

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From the Broward Bulldog

The Office of Professional Standards is responsible for investigating complaints “of malfeasance and misfeasance filed in good faith under the county’s whistleblower program,” according to the county’s web site.

State law shields the identity of employees or others who file a written whistleblower complaint. The county has a “zero tolerance” policy toward retaliation against whistleblowers.

The complaint says that after DRI was “paid in full” for its poorly performing passenger counting system, it appears as if Swirsky and Blitman “orchestrated” a $13.3 million no-bid deal for the company at county hall – and did so in a way that apparently masked what the county was actually buying.

County records show the commission voted on April 28, 2009 to modify an existing sole source contract with DRI to upgrade a bus announcement system it bought in 2002 for less than $2 million.

But according to the whistleblower, that’s not what the county really bought. Instead, those millions went for an altogether different kind of bus communications system that DRI was peddling, but had yet to deploy at any other major transit agency – an Automatic Vehicle Location/Computer Aided Dispatch system (AVL/CAD).

“Note the glaring omission (in the county’s agenda item) of any reference to an AVL/CAD system,” the whistleblower wrote.  “It is most unlikely that an upgrade of this single announcement system would cost BCT over $13 million.”

[A link to Digital Recorders AVL system overview page]

The whistleblower urged investigators to determine who made that happen.

“Someone at BCT had to provide information to county purchasing personnel that formed the basis of emails and documentation provided by purchasing personnel that in turn created the mechanisms for approval by the Board of County Commissioners,” the whistleblower’s complaint said.

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