Commissioner of Administration Kelly Tshibaka has responded to a legislative probe directed by Rep. Zack Fields into contracts signed by her department.
In her letter, Tshibaka takes apart the testimony of Field’s chosen expert, Barry Jackson.
Tshibaka says that her department has been peppered with records requests from Jackson, who is an affiliate of liberal blogger Dermot Cole. Cole is an unabashed foe of the Dunleavy Administration who writes frequently about contracts and has accused the Department of Administration repeatedly.
“The DOA, and other State agencies, have received a number of public records requests from Mr. Jackson as an affiliate of blogger Dermot Cole, and various news organizations, focusing on the State’s use of alternative procurement methods provided for in AS 36.30.300-320. Certain high-profile procurements have attracted media attention, but it is worth noting that alternate procurement methods such as small procurements, single source procurements, and emergency procurements are expressly authorized under the Procurement Code,” Tshibaka wrote, before detailing all the ways in which Jackson was misunderstanding current procurement law.
After responding to several of Jackson’s accusations, Tshibaka concludes her letter by defending the contract professionals in her department:
“While I appreciate Mr. Jackson’s right to express his opinion to the Committee based on his experience as a procurement officer for the State 21 years ago, as the Commissioner of DOA, I must apply the facts of this procurement against the Procurement Code. The foregoing clearly demonstrates that the DOA did comply in all material respects with the requirements of the Procurement Code in conducting this procurement. DOA competed this contract in such a way that multiple firms qualified for and could have bid on it,” Tshibaka wrote.
“In closing, the hardworking professionals who conducted this procurement are committed to protecting the public’s interests and maintaining the highest level of integrity. They dedicate themselves to conducting procurements in accordance with the law and are daily responding to the COVID-19 pandemic,” she wrote.
The complete response is at this link: