Request #19-411
  Open

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the California Public Records Act, I hereby request the following records:

- All contracts, including memoranda of understanding (MOUs), letters of intent (LOIs), side letters, or other agreements that are currently active, or were active within the last three years. Please include attachments, addendums, amendments, and change orders.
- Records of contract approvals by employees or elected public officials.
- Policies and procedures for contract administration, including delegation or approval thresholds.
- Any process narratives or audit reports regarding contract administration.
- The current records retention schedule.

I am happy to discuss how we can make the fulfillment of this request easier for your agency, like extending the timeline or negotiating a monthly production schedule.

Additional information that has helped other agencies fully respond to our requests:
- A link will suffice if records are already published online, for example, sometimes full contracts are published in meeting agendas or packets. In this case, we could simply use a link to the main agenda webpage.
- Documents need not be organized together or linked in any way, as long as sufficient identifying information is available. For example, it is common for contracts to be stored in a contract or document management system while change order approvals may be housed in another system. Change orders may not even have an associated document, just an approval record in some database. In this case, we could work with an excel file, CSV, or other data dump of change order approvals and a data dictionary, in addition to the contract document.
- If the active dates of contracts are not readily available, the execution date, internal approval date, or other date is likely sufficient.
- Please deliver the files in whatever method is most convenient for your office. We have received mail with a USB drive (which we pay for), CDs, or DVDs. We have received sharing links to online storage services (Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, etc.), public records portals, FTP credentials, and emails with individual files or compressed attachments. The upload link at the bottom of this email is also available.

What are we doing and why?
Legal Robot uses machine learning to understand contracts. As part of the AI Ethics Initiative (which funds this work), we are sourcing contracts from many public agencies across the US to support investigative journalism and improve the negotiating position of public agencies. All materials will be made available to the public, for free. As it is all public, the data will also be available to your agency, for free.

If there are any fees for searching or copying these records, please inform me in advance of fulfilling the request.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 10 calendar days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Dan Rubins
Legal Robot

NOTE: a previous version of this request was submitted to city.manager@cityofvallejo.net on July 13th, 2018 but received no response or acknowledgment. A follow-up email was sent on August 3, 2018 to the same email, but received no response. A final follow-up email was sent to city.manager@cityofvallejo.net on June 16, 2019 and once again, received no response.


Received

July 9, 2019 via web


Departments

All Other Departments


Requester

Dan Rubins

Documents

Public

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Staff

Point of Contact

Melissa Rhodes

Document(s) Released Public
19-411 D-I.zip
September 30, 2019, 4:03pm by Samantha Chen
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Dear Mr. Rubins,

 

The City has identified records in its possession that appear to respond to your request. This is the second in a rolling series of contracts that will be made available to you electronically. As we discussed, the City will be producing contracts dated July 1, 2018 to the date of your PRA request in electronic form.

 

We had also discussed you making arrangements with the City Clerk, Dawn Abrahamson, to inspect and obtain copies of the City’s pre-July 1, 2018 contracts. If we do not hear about your availability by October 14, 2019 to inspect the contracts, the City will deem that portion of the request complete.

 

Please feel free to contact me if you have any additional questions or concerns. Thank you very much for your cooperation.

 

Samantha Chen

for BEST BEST & KRIEGER LLP

September 30, 2019, 4:03pm by Samantha Chen (Staff)
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Dear Mr. Rubins,

 

Please advise on your availability to come into the City Clerk's Office to inspect and obtain copies of the City’s pre-July 1, 2018 contracts.  Thank you for your cooperation.

 

Samantha Chen

September 21, 2019, 9:00pm by Samantha Chen (Staff)
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Dear Mr. Rubins,

 

The City has identified records in its possession that appear to respond to your request. This is the first in a rolling series of contracts that will be made available to you electronically. As we discussed, the City will be producing contracts dated July 1, 2018 to the date of your PRA request in electronic form. We had also discussed you making arrangements with the City Clerk, Dawn Abrahamson, to inspect and obtain copies of the City’s pre-July 1, 2018 contracts. She will await your response on the inspection of the pre-July 1, 2018 contracts.

 

The responsive records in the City’s first production are being made available to you through the following link:

 

https://www.imanageshare.com/pd/4Nh7s1B7nn6

 

Please notify us if you have any problems accessing the documents through the above link.

 

Also, please be advised that the City has redacted the following from the documents: federal employer identification numbers and insurance policy numbers, as the public interest in maintaining the privacy of this information of the City’s contracting companies served by withholding the redacted information of clearly outweighs any public interest served by disclosure.  (Gov. Code § 6255.)  However, if you find this information particularly relevant to your inquiry, we can discuss the withholding of this information.

 

The Public Records Act requires the City to provide a written response when a records request is denied, either in whole or in part. (Gov. Code § 6255 (b).) The Public Records Act also requires that notification of denial of any request for records must include the names and titles or positions of each person responsible for the denial. (Gov. Code § 6253 (d).) With the name and title provided below, this correspondence fulfills both of the aforementioned legal requirements.

 

Please feel free to contact me if you have any additional questions or concerns. Thank you very much for your cooperation.

 

Samantha Chen

for BEST BEST & KRIEGER LLP

August 30, 2019, 4:22pm by Samantha Chen (Staff)
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Mr. Rubins, we have identified and pulled contracts from 1/1/18 to 6/30/18 and they are available in the City Clerk's Office for inspection starting this Friday, August 23.  Mondays and Fridays are the dates that you will be able to inspect the contracts limited to 2 hours per day/inspection.

If you determine that you wish hard copies, my staff will need time to photcopy, which is dependent upon the volume of copies, and payment will be collected prior to copies being released.

After review of the first installment of contracts, if you determine you wish to inspect contracts from the period of 1/1/16 through 12/31/17, we will make these available to you for inspection in rolling installments, with the second installment available for inspection no later than 30 days from the first installment.

Please contact me directly to make arrangements to schedule a date and time (either Monday or Friday starting with Friday, August 23) to inspect the first installment as noted in the first paragraph above.

August 19, 2019, 11:41am by Dawn Abrahamson, City Clerk (Staff)
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1. As discussed, this item is in progress.

2. As discussed, this item needs follow-up.

3. As discussed, the Vallejo Municipal Code 3.20 contains the contracting and financial policies.

4. As discussed, this item needs follow-up.

5. The records retention schedule is available online, but a newer one may be on the way.

August 6, 2019, 6:03pm by the requester
Document(s) Released to Requester Public
Meet & Confer on Pending PRA Requests 7-18-19.pdf
July 18, 2019, 4:11pm by Samantha Chen
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HAPPY 1ST BIRTHDAY!!! This request was submitted OVER A YEAR AGO to the City Manager's email inbox and has received no response or acknowledgement. Additional follow up emails were sent on August 3rd, 2018 and June 16, 2019 but continue to receive no response. 

The California Public Records Act (Cal. Gov’t Code § 6253(c)) specifically requires that an agency provide a response to a public records request within ten business days of receipt of that request. By failing to respond to this request within the legally-mandated timeframe, this agency is in violation of the law. Please provide acknowledgement of this request and the responsive materials forthwith. If such materials cannot be produced, please provide an appropriate explanation for this rejection, as is dictated by this agency's legal obligations under the California Public Records Act.

July 18, 2019, 11:16am by the requester
Request Published Public
July 9, 2019, 1:55pm by Dawn Abrahamson, City Clerk
Department Assignment Public
All Other Departments
July 9, 2019, 12:34am
Request Opened Public
Request received via web
July 9, 2019, 12:34am