The 61 page scathing report about ACS's failures can be found on-line. I think it would be enough though to simply list some of the topics listed on the index page:
A report released February 22 by the Washington, DC city auditor documented the mismanagement of a for-hire contract to issue parking tickets in the nation's capital. The District's choice of Affiliated Computer Services (ACS) to run meter maid operations delivered $8,823,447 less revenue and a twenty-fold increase in complaints from the public.
"The District government experienced a severe financial crisis," the audit stated in explaining the purpose in hiring ACS. "In response to the growing concerns regarding the decline in parking meter revenue, on February 2, 1998, Department of Public Works entered into a $24,991,000 seven-year seven-month privatization contract
with Lockheed Martin IMS Corporation, now Affiliated Computer Services (ACS) to provide new parking meters and to manage the District's parking meter services."
Among the findings were that ACS was overcounting the number of meters, and charging accordingly. ACS claimed 1906 were in use, but the audit showed 1236 -- "the remaining 670 meters, or 35 percent, were missing and could not be accounted for by ACS or DDOT," the report explained. Of the meters that were present, 65 percent were defaced, damaged or inoperable. Only 232 meters were in proper working condition. ACS also pocketed $644,952 in fees for parking meters that had been "bagged" while streets were under construction or turned off for private functions, in violation of the city's contract.
The audit also blamed ACS for improperly issuing 6888 tickets to motorists parked at busted parking meters to generate $159,975 in revenue. The frequency of such mistakes was reflected in the increase in the number of complaints. When the city ran the meter maid program, annual complaints averaged less than 4000. In 2005, 89,840 complaints were lodged against parking services.
Between 1999 and 2005, the District collected $89,022,302 in parking meter revenue. Of this, ACS kept $26,434,192. Emeka Moneme, Acting Director of the District Department of Transportation suggested a new means of increasing revenue by the use of new
"pay and display" style electronic parking meters to overcharge motorists.
- The Parking Meter Privatization Effort Failed to Yield the 5% Cost Savings Required by Law. Instead Costs Were Approximately $8.8 Million, or 33% Higher under Privation
- Net Revenue under In-house Operations Were Higher than under Privatization
- ACS Failed to Meet Performance Standards under the Contract
- Flawed Meter Inventory Data Provided under the Contract
- Parking Meters Examined by the Auditor Had Significant Problems.
- Overall Meter Complaints Increased Approximately 903% under the Privatization Contract with ACS
- Parking Ticket Patrons Were Improperly Fined $159,975 While Parking at Broken Meters
- ACS Was Inappropriately Paid $644,952 in Bagged Meter Revenue Fees
Indianapolis would deal with the problems exposed in the Washington, D.C. audit, by simply never doing an an audit of the politically-connected ACS. No audit - no publicity of the problems. That is the Indy way. Even if there was an audit done, you can bet it would be so greased by the politicians that ACS come out smelling like a rose.
As a side note, I would specifically note that the DC audit blasted ACS for submitting "flawed meter inventory data." In the Indianapolis contract, it says that the City will simply use whatever data and calculations ACS supplies the City for determining the revenue to which the City is entitled under the contract. Why in the world would City negotiators agree to that?
Finally, it should be emphasized that these were problems noted in ACS's performance on a 7 year plus contract, a contract short enough where ACS actually had to fear competition. Imagine what ACS's performance will be like under a multi-generational, 50 year contract which will shield the company from competition for decades?