Rep. Robert F. Matzie
16th Legislative District
Allegheny and Beaver counties
McCord halts payments to NICUSA after Matzie questions contract
HARRISBURG, April 22 – State Treasurer Rob McCord has stopped payments to NICUSA Inc. at the request of state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny.
The payments have been halted until McCord has time to review the contract to ensure any such payment would be legal and proper. NICUSA, a Kansas-based company, was awarded a no-bid contract by the office of Gov. Tom Corbett to build implement and maintain websites for the Commonwealth.
The contract with NICUSA was touted by the administration for its no cost to the state for its provided services. NICUSA recently put in a request for payment in the amount of $1.7 million.
“I am pleased Treasurer McCord is asking questions regarding payment and I’m looking forward to the administration’s response,” Matzie said.
Matzie first became concerned about the no-bid nature of the NICUSA contract after he learned about the company’s numerous competitors with similar capabilities. In March, Matzie sent a letter to Attorney General Kathleen Kane and Auditor General Eugene DePasquale alerting them to the possible inappropriate nature of the contract. He wrote that he was also concerned about the “convenience” fees referred to in the contract.
“The contract was written in such a way that many things remain unclear. It isn’t clear whether individuals, businesses or the Commonwealth are responsible for the fees involved with these websites,” Matzie said. “The contracts would seem to suggest that this company has the authority to set and collect these fees. One thing is clear though, setting fees like that is the job of the General Assembly.”
In order to clarify this issue Matzie introduced legislation (H.B. 1173) that would prohibit any state contractor from imposing an Internet convenience fee without specific authorization from the General Assembly. That bill currently awaits consideration in the State Government Committee.