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DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – No references – No problem! The CBS 11 I-Team confirms Dallas city staffers never checked a company’s references before awarding a multi-million dollar computer system contract.

When Councilman Philip Kingston questioned the bid process, he was told checking references rarely gets honest answers from people; so, the city doesn’t do it that often.

That prompted Kingston to ask for a full audit of the Dallas Police Department’s Records Management System and the bidding and procurement process that lead the city to Unisys.

The I-Team uncovered Unisys was awarded the contract back in 2009 for $7.4 million, even though another Fort Worth-based company, Indico, bid $5.7 million.

Through several sources, the I-Team confirmed Unisys did submit an application and references with their original proposals, but Dallas city staffers never checked those references. If they had, Councilman Philip Kingston believes Dallas would have uncovered other cities were having major problems with the system.

That’s why he, along with four other council members, is asking for an audit of the bid process and the system.

“We went with someone who was not the low bidder. Well, you’ve got to explain that. When you spend the citizen’s money on something that’s not the cheapest option, you better have a good explanation. And I haven’t been able to receive one,” Kingston told us.

CBS 11 I-Team Investigative Reporter Mireya Villarreal requested the original Unisys application with those references, but the City of Dallas has refuses to turn it over. They claim they shouldn’t have to turn it over because Unisys has asked them not to.

We’ve now taken our fight to the Texas Attorney General Office and will keep you posted on the outcome.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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