Nov. 21: After two requests for more time, the OPP says no charges will be laid as a result of its investigation. Inquiry set to resume.

Sept. 30: The Ontario Provincial Police request the inquiry be adjoined for two weeks while they pursue a criminal investigation.

August

2002: The Leasing Inquiry sets a Sept. 30 date to begin its work. Mayor Mel Lastman is announced as the first witness.

July 2003: Bellamy grants full standing before the Inquiry to the City of Toronto, MFP Financial Services Ltd., Lana Viinamae and Wanda Liczyk. The Canadian Union of Public Employees, Local 79, was granted special standing.

June 2002: Madam Justice Denise Bellamy, the Commissioner of the Toronto Computer Leasing Inquiry, starts hearing applications for standing before the Inquiry from interested individuals and organizations. The inquiry’s legal team is also appointed.

February 2002: MFP president Peter Wolfraim tells Computer Dealer News MFP has been telling the City its books and records are open; the company has offered to talk to council four separate times. He adds that the City’s lawyer “”has strongly recommended that the agreement reached earlier be accepted.””

December 2001: The original report to council indicates the bid by MFP contained an implicit interest rate of 4.6 per cent and the equipment schedules executed by city staff contained lease rates with interest rates in excess of the 4.6 per cent interest rate.

Summer 2000: A number of the equipment leases are restructured to extend the term of some of the equipment schedules beyond even five years.

December 1999: The city’s director of the Y2K project recommended the acquisition of 10,000 Oracle Database enterprise licences. The licences were then acquired by lease through MFP.

July 1999: According to a report from the city’s then Chief Financial Officer and Executive Director, Information Technology, council approval was obtained to lease $43 million of computers and related equipment. The report indicated to council that the bid by MFP was the preferred bid and council authorized the city to enter into a leasing contract for three years.

The report to council failed to mention the rates quoted were only in effect for 90 days and that staff had entered into a Master Equipment Lease Agreement and a Program Agreement after the 90-day period expired, which “contemplated various Equipment Schedules to the Master Equipment Lease Agreement that would identify the equipment to be leased and lease terms and rates in respect of the equipment.”

The city has leased up to $85 million of computer equipment although the council approval indicated an estimated cost of acquisition of $43 million of equipment.

With two exceptions, the initial Equipment Schedules were not for three years as approved by council, but five years.

Early 1999: City staff explore financing options for large-scale software and computer acquisitions felt necessary to deal with Y2K. A Request for Quotations was issued in May 1999 to solicit bids for computer leasing.

Comment: info@itbusiness.ca

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