Friday, February 17, 2012

CIRM Contracting: $1.3 Million for IT, $887,282 for Legal

The California stem cell agency this week performed its semi-annual public disclosure of its contracts with outside firms, the second largest item in its operational budget of $18.5 million.

The contracts are scheduled to run about $3.3 million this fiscal year, according to the budget approved last May. That figure is up about 18 percent from the previous year.

According to the contract information posted this week, the two largest contracting expenditures this year are for information technology work, including the ongoing struggles with the grants management system – $1.3 million – and legal help – $887,282. The figures were compiled by the California Stem Cell Report. CIRM did not provide totals.

Outside contracts are second to the cost of salaries and benefits at the agency. One reason for the size of the contracting expense is the small size of the CIRM staff, which is now about 50.

The contracting information will be presented to the CIRM directors' Governance Subcommittee next Friday. The committee is being asked to approve an increase in the contract with Kutir Corp., from $250,000 to $470,000. By the end of 2011, CIRM had already paid out $219,680 to Kutir. The firm provides software development services.

Infonetica, which provides technology advice, would also see an increase from $236,060 to $300,000, under the staff proposal.

A staff memo to the board said,
"(Kutir's) services are key as CIRM continues to progress in automating its grants management systems to meet the requirements of both new RFAs as well as ongoing reporting obligations.""
The public can participate in the Governance meeting at locations in San Francisco, Sacramento, Irvine, Los Angeles, South San Francisco and La Jolla. Specific addresses can be found on the agenda.

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