Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Joe Killian's answers on XMG, Guilford County's IS Department and Skip Alston, from "On Joe Killian's comment"

So Mr. Williams has only been paid for finished product
that was correctly completed?

"That's really a question for Barbara Weaver. She said to me in an interview that the design portion -- about $32,000 of the whole two phase project -- was completed to their satisfaction and paid for.

I couldn't say how much of the CMS -- the second part -- was finished. It is certainly true that they paid for some of it. The analogy that's come up in conversation with Weaver and Williams is that Williams essentially built a car. He finished and was paid for the body of the vehicle but didn't finish building the engine. He says this is because the budget ran out due to their having asked him to do work outside the scope of what he'd agreed to do. They say he bit off more than he could chew.

On what has already been paid for,
or what has not been paid for?

Their story is that throughout the project there were bugs and errors they asked Williams to address, on things they'd paid for and things they hadn't yet because they hadn't reached that point. The documentation seems to back them up on that. Williams says had he been allowed to finish he would have worked out any of the bugs to their satisfaction. They say they had to cut bait because he wasn't delivering on what he promised them in the second phase.

Was what was paid for sub par?

Was the initial work evaluated before the next work was approved and initiated?

No one characterized to me the work in the first phase as sub par. They were dissatisfied with the second phase and again, how much of that they considered sub par and why that was (shoddy work or just not being allowed to finish) is one of the things at issue. They did evaluate and approve the first phase before beginning the second, according to interviews and documents.

What is Skip Alston's view of what occurred at the meeting?

Chairman Alston's view, as expressed to me, was that he was trying to broker an agreement between a contractor and the county before their differences led them to court. He says he set up the meeting and attended it but did not play a role in the actual negotiations."

Joe Killian, emailed on January 25, 2011

On Joe Killian's comment


George Hartzman said...

"He says this is because the budget ran out due to their having asked him to do work outside the scope of what he'd agreed to do."

Like a fake website?

Joe Killian said...

One of the complaints Williams had was that he was asked to create a working HTML demo for the county manager/commissioners as progress on the CMS was not going as quickly as the county said they would like it to.

Some of the documents he released substantiate that claim, at least partially. But it isn't clear from them whether this was as a result of his company not performing to the degree they'd promised, whether the county was asking for too much too fast or whether there was just a communication breakdown.

Going through the documents it's difficult to substantiate exactly what prompted the breakdown in communication but, to a certain point, Williams seems to have accepted a lot of things that he now says were outside of what his company had agreed to do.

It seems like there was a continuing dialogue on what was in the scope of their agreement and that more kept being asked of XMG. It doesn't seem that it's until major confrontations that Williams brings up an original scope of work argument -- which, because there's no black and white contract, seems to be conjecture.

There seems to be a lot in all of the documents released by both sides that doesn't make either side look particularly good.