Former Commonwealth ITD Director of Hosting Services Delwin Dickinson Pays $30,000 Civil Penalty for Conflict of Interest Law Violations
Approved vendor contracts and payments to Advizex after entering into employment negotiations with the company
The State Ethics Commission approved a Disposition Agreement (“Agreement”) in which Delwin Dickinson (“Dickinson”), the former Hosting Services Director for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Information Technology Division (“ITD”), admitted to violating G.L. c. 268A, the conflict of interest law, by awarding contracts and approving payments to hardware and software reseller Advizex after entering into employment negotiations with the company. Pursuant to the Agreement, Dickinson, a Woburn resident, paid a $30,000 civil penalty.
According to the Agreement, Dickinson interviewed for a project manager position with Advizex on May 9, 2012. On the same day, Dickinson sought information from Advizex about ITD obtaining Hewlett Packard (“HP”) support. Subsequently, as the ITD Hosting Services Director, Dickinson drafted and posted requests for quotes (“RFQs”) for two contracts for the maintenance and technical support of ITD’s HP and Intel brand products. Dickinson knew Advizex would submit quotes for both contracts because he had been in recent contact with the company regarding ITD obtaining HP support, and the company had an extensive history of doing business with ITD.
After Dickinson received the vendors’ quotes, including quotes from Advizex, Dickinson selected ITD staff to evaluate and score the vendor responses, and he collected the staff scores to calculate the winning vendors. On or about June 26, 2012, based on the scoring and Advizex’s best and final offer, Dickinson awarded both contracts to Advizex, in the amounts of $414,500 and $141,324. On July 12, 2012, Dickinson approved a payment of $414,500 to Advizex in connection with one of the contracts.
After Dickinson began negotiating for employment with Advizex, he also approved payments to Advizex in connection with pre-existing contracts between the company and ITD in the amounts of $5,164, $2,175.77, and $32,594.25, respectively. Between May 2012 and July 12, 2012, Dickinson approved payments to Advizex totaling more than $454,000.
Advizex hired Dickinson in September 2012.
Section 6 of the conflict of interest law prohibits a state employee from participating as a state employee in a particular matter in which, to his knowledge, an organization with which he is negotiating or has any arrangement concerning prospective employment has a financial interest. By, in his capacity as the ITD Hosting Services Director, awarding the two contracts to Advizex and approving vendor payments to Advizex, while he was negotiating for employment with Advizex, Dickinson repeatedly violated section 6.