11. Senator Shooter’s concerns were magnified when he learned of the state’s use of “Competition not Practicable” or “Sole Source” contracts for large technology purchases. These are contracts where the State does not engage in a competitive bidding process, but rather chooses a vendor because the product is so unique, so rare that if the state attempted a competitive bid process, only that “sole”/one vendor could respond. Often, because there is no competition, that vendor is able to dictate many of the contract terms including price and service level agreements.
12. One example of such a no-bid, sole source contract uncovered by Senator Shooter was for “general cloud services” or cloud data storage, which the state entered into with Amazon Web Services (“AWS”) in March 2017 (and remains in effect as of this filing).
13. Sole source, defined in A.R.S. §41-2536, allows the State to award a contract without competition only if the director of the Department of Administration determines in writing that there is only one source for the required product or service. That statute requires that sole source procurement “shall be avoided, except when no reasonable alternative sources exist.”
14. “General cloud services” are provided by numerous companies including those based in Arizona, employing Arizona workers and therefore a competitive bidding process was required; Amazon Web Services is not the sole provider of general cloud services.
15. In fact, AWS is perceived as on the high end of the cost spectrum and for the difficulty and prohibitive costs clients face when attempting to withdraw data stored with AWS.
16. Senator Shooter discovered evidence of additional no-bid contracts to buy technology products and services. Curiously, there was little or no effort to level the playing field.
17. Instead, Senator Shooter found a concerted effort at the Department of Administration to direct work to specific, high priced, out-of-state companies by avoiding competition at the expense of Arizona workers and employers, and to the detriment of Arizona taxpayers.
18. Senator Shooter’s proposed solution was simple: permit qualified vendors the opportunity to fairly compete.
B. Shooter Tries to Address Concerns Over Wasteful Government Spending
19. In 2016, Senator Shooter introduced SB1434, with the goal of encouraging state agencies to migrate to the cloud and modernize technology systems.
20. In preparing SB1434, Senator Shooter met with representatives from Amazon, Dell, and Google, all recognized leaders in the technology industry. The bill included an oversight provision which would have required a state agency, when investing in an IT project anticipated to cost more than $2.5 million, request at least two bids prior to entering into a contract. Agencies did not have to obtain two bids, just request them.
21. Throughout the 2016 legislative session, Senator Shooter worked with representatives of the Governor’s Office including the Governor’s Deputy Chief of Operations as well as the state’s Chief Information Officer (CIO) Morgan Reed to modify and refine the bill.
22. Through the course of these revisions, SB 1434 was amended to require the state Department of Administration (DOA) to report to JLBC how many bids were received, after a large technology purchase had been made. DOA was also to report the rationale for the selection of the bid that was chosen.
23. Despite assurances that he had addressed every issue of concern to the Governor’s staff and despite the benefit to Arizona taxpayers, SB1434 was promptly vetoed.
24. Senator Shooter introduced the bill again the next session and notwithstanding attempts to work with the State CIO Morgan Reed, he was informed by representatives of the Governor’s Office that it would again be vetoed.
25. Senator Shooter was frustrated that he could not find common ground with representatives of the Governor’s Office to create consistent transparency and competition.
26. It must be noted that Mr. Shooter does not believe, nor has he found any evidence that Governor Ducey was in anyway involved in or aware of Mr. Shooter’s concerns and the related conduct of Adams and Mesnard and others as detailed herein.
27. Senator Shooter continued his efforts despite harassment from defendants.
28. These incidents of harassment occurred consistently within days of directly communicating opposition to uncompetitive procurement practices to the Governor’s Chief of Staff Kirk Adams.
29. For example, in the midst of the legislative session and five days after warning the Governor’s Chief of Staff Kirk Adams and other high-level Governor staff members that he would not tolerate the state entering into and maintaining multi-million-dollar contracts without competition, Senator Shooter was surveilled and followed by a private investigator.
30. After realizing that a stranger was following his every move including to following him home, Senator Shooter sought intervention from the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) out of concern for his safety and that of his family.