Evaluator dropped from state contract process - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Evaluator dropped from multi-million dollar state contract process


MADISON (WKOW) -- Part of a Wisconsin company's protest to losing out in a $15 million state contract bid involves objection to the removal of a member of the bid evaluation team in the final phase of the process.

State officials selected Minnesota-based Infinite Campus to coordinate placing the computerized school records of students across Wisconsin on one, information technology platform.

But spokesperson Ray Ackerlund of losing bidder Skyward Inc. of Stevens Point told 27 News if a member of the six member contract evaluation team had not been removed by state officials, the evaluator's scores may have changed the final decision.

State records show the evaluator was removed following final presentations by representatives of Infinite Campus and Skyward last September.

Department of Administration spokesperson Stephanie Marquis told 27 News the evaluator's removal was carried out as a "precaution" against even the appearance of bias by an evaluator of the bids.

A report from independent process observer, Madison attorney Cari Anne Renlund stated some other evaluators and some observing, school system experts believed the dismissed evaluator coached Skyward's representative through some questions.

But Renlund's report also stated she detected "no inappropriate bias" on the part of the evaluator in relation to Skyward.

Records indicate the dismissed educator is from a Wisconsin school district with a Skyward system as part of its student data record retention. Marquis said Skyward's IT system computerizes data for 39% of Wisconsin school students.

Marquis declined to identify the former evaluation team member.

Marquis told 27 News bid scores from the remaining five evaluators heavily favored Infinite Campus.

Record shows contract evaluation scores combined with contract bid cost analysis were considered in making the contract award.

Skyward's protest of the contract award is before the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

The contract bid process was previously suspended for a time, after it was revealed officials with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation extended Skyward an offer of tax credits if the company landed the contract.  



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