Some Paragon Players Bring STAARS to State Finance

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—What does a $13 million no-bid software contract have to do with the STAARS $47 million no-bid contract? Many of the same people who championed and worked on the 2009 Paragon Source debacle are the same ones responsible for the STAARS system, which has caused tens of thousands of payments, in the hundreds of millions, to be paid late or not paid at all.
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Assistant Finance Director Calls Texas Home

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY— Assistant Finance Director Rex McDowell, who has been closely associated with recent questionable State software upgrades, calls Texas home, where he owns SoftSwitch Communications, Inc., a company that offers fully integrated, hosted communications solutions, as reported by Bob Lowry in 2011.

According to Lowry’s report, McDowell, a Montgomery native, is registered to vote in Texas, holds a Texas drivers license and even though he receives a six figure salary from the State of Alabama, he reported on his ethics disclosure that he spends “one-third or more” of his time on his Texas-based communications company.
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Questions Arise on No-Bid Software Contract

By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—The revelation that a no-bid software contract approved by Finance Director Bill Newton led to a meltdown in the State’s ability to pay its bills in a timely fashion has raised questions about how the contract was awarded.

Not only are thousands of vendors not being paid, but State employees are not receiving reimbursement for travel and other expenses. The botched implementation has led to a backlog of payments, spanning across every segment of State government.
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