Panel chairman unhappy with Davis’ reply

By Steve Lawrence, The Associated Press
Wednesday May 29, 2002

SACRAMENTO — Despite its claims of full compliance, the governor’s office apparently didn’t completely respond to a request for information from a committee investigating a potentially costly state contract, the panel’s chairman said Tuesday. 

“His response did not meet the threshold test of providing the committee what it needed,” said Assemblyman Dean Florez, D-Shafter. 

But Gov. Gray Davis’ chief spokesman, Steve Maviglio, said the governor’s office had fully complied with the committee’s request to the best of its ability. 

“A lot of the information requested we don’t have,” he said. “The attorney general’s office seized computers and so we don’t have e-mails and calendars from ... people whose computers were seized. 

“In some instances they did not specifically ask for something so we didn’t give it to them.” 

Davis’ legal affairs secretary, Barry Goode, said the governor’s office didn’t turn over some material relating to discussions and meetings that took place after the contract was signed last May 31. 

“Certain matters after that date are related to the ongoing negotiations with Oracle” Corp. to rescind the contract, Goode said. “We are in active discussions with respect to them and they are covered by the deliberative process privilege.” 

Davis’ office turned over 46 pages of information to the Joint Legislative Audit Committee last Friday afternoon. 

, saying it fully complied with a request for any records it had about a contract with Oracle. 

The $95-million, no-bid deal was supposed to save the state as much as $111 million through volume purchases and maintenance of computer database software. 

But the state auditor said last month that the contract could end up costing the state up to $41 million more than if it had maintained its previous software supply arrangements, a conclusion Oracle disputes. 

Besides the committee, the attorney general’s office is also investigating the deal. 

Florez sent a letter to Goode on May 13 asking for copies of any communications or documents relating to the Oracle deal, including any communications Davis had with Oracle representatives. 

The governor has denied any knowledge of the agreement before it was signed, and his office says there are no documents contradicting that statement. 

Most of the 46 pages that Davis’ office gave to the committee consisted of background information provided by Logicon Inc., an Oracle vendor, about the type of agreement signed by the state. 

The Davis material also included handwritten notes from a meeting that Davis aide Kari Dohn had last May with Logicon representatives and a copy of the memo, known as a governor’s action request, that was signed by several administration officials in support of the deal. 

Both Florez and another committee member, Assemblyman Bill Leonard, R-Rancho Cucamonga, said there was little new information in the material the governor provided. 

“They gave us 46 pages,” said Florez. “Of the 46, 43 was stuff we already had.” 

Leonard said Davis’ response “makes me wonder if there’s a policy in the governor’s office to not document actions, meetings and other kinds of activity.” 

Florez send another letter to Goode on Tuesday requesting calendar entries, meeting notes, phone logs, e-mails and other communications relating to the Oracle pact by this Thursday. 

“My initial review...indicates that the May 24, 2002 response from the governor’s office does not appear to fully comply with the document request,” Florez said. 

For example, Florez said, the governor’s initial response didn’t include calendar entries or notes for meetings involving the governor’s aides that the committee has had testimony about. 

The initial response also didn’t include any phone logs of telephone conversations about the agreement, even though the committee has had documents or testimony about such discussions, Florez added. 

“The response leaves unanswered whether the governor’s office maintains no such records or whether these records were not provided,” his letter said. 

Maviglio said only Davis and his chief of staff, Lynn Schenk, keep phone logs.