Concept

Toronto Computer Leasing Inquiry

Summary
The Toronto Computer Leasing Inquiry was a judicial inquiry into allegations of conflict of interest, bribery and misappropriation of funds around computer leasing contracts entered into by the City of Toronto government in 1998 and 1999. It was held concurrently with the Toronto External Contracts Inquiry. On January 1, 1998, the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto and its six lower-tier cities (Toronto, Scarborough, North York, Etobicoke, East York and York) were amalgamated into the single "megacity" of Toronto. In one of the new city's first official acts of business, computer equipment was leased for city councillors' offices from MFP Financial Services, at a value of 1,093,731.Citystaffhavenotbeenabletoproduceanydocumentationtoprovethatthiscontractwasawardedthroughproperprocedures.InMay,1999,thecityissuedaRequestForQuotationsforitsnewcomputeracquisitionneeds.MFPwasoneofthebidders,andwasawardedthecontractinJulyofthatyear.MFPwascontractedtoprovide1,093,731. City staff have not been able to produce any documentation to prove that this contract was awarded through proper procedures. In May, 1999, the city issued a Request For Quotations for its new computer acquisition needs. MFP was one of the bidders, and was awarded the contract in July of that year. MFP was contracted to provide 43 million of computer equipment to the city on a three-year lease agreement. However, the final lease agreement was not signed until after the 90-day price guarantee had expired. That fall, the city sold its owned computer equipment to MFP, and then leased it back as well. Over the duration of the agreement, the city paid 85milliontoMFP,ratherthantheoriginal85 million to MFP, rather than the original 43 million approved by city council. As well, many of the equipment schedules were for five-year leases rather than three. Some of these leases were later restructured to extend the lease terms even further, resulting in additional costs. In December of that year, the city acquired 10,000 Oracle database licenses, again through an MFP lease. This turned out to be a serious overestimate of the city's actual needs. These issues came to light in late 2001, after an investigation by Toronto city councillors David Miller and Bas Balkissoon. In February, 2002, the Toronto Computer Leasing Inquiry was established by city council.
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