Oracle Probe Complains of Governor's Lack of Cooperation

California Gov. Gray Davis has not come clean with investigators who are probing why a $95 million deal to software database giant Oracle Corporation was made without a bid and actually cost the state tens of millions of dollars, the panel's chairman said Tuesday.

A scathing state audit found that last year's contract with Oracle to provide database maintenance and supply volume purchases for state agencies would not save money as initially touted, but could cost the state $41 million more than necessary.

The Joint Legislative Audit Committee investigating the deal said the governor's office has not fully complied with its request for information, which would include copies of any communications related to the agreement and any communication Davis had with Oracle.

"His response did not meet the threshold test of providing the committee what it needed," said Assemblyman Dean Florez, the chairman of the probe. The state's attorney general's office is also investigating the deal, which Davis denies knowing about before it was signed.

Davis' office said Tuesday that it gave investigators all the information it had.

"A lot of the information requested we don't have," said spokesman Steve Maviglio. "The attorney general's office seized the 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' office turned over 46 pages of information to the Joint Legislative Audit Committee Friday afternoon. Most of those pages consisted of background information provided by Logicon Inc., an Oracle vendor, about the type of agreement signed by the state.

The $95-million, no-bid deal was supposed to save the state as much as $111 million, but last month the state auditor concluded the deal could end up costing the state up to $41 million more than if it had maintained its previous software supply arrangements. Oracle disputes that conclusion.

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, which was signed by several administration officials in support of the deal.

Both Florez and another committee member, Assemblyman Bill Leonard, R-Rancho Cucamonga, said the material provided by the governor on Friday offered no new information.

"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."

So Florez sent a second request for calendar entries, meeting notes, phone logs, e-mails and other communications relating to the Oracle pact by this Thursday. He said the governor's initial response did not include calendar entries or notes for meetings involving the governor's aides that the committee has had testimony about.

Nor did it include any phone logs of telephone conversations about the agreement, even though the committee has had documents or testimony about such discussions, Florez added.

"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.

"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.

Apparently to blunt criticism for the deal, the state Tuesday night released new guidelines which would now require state agencies to bid out for any contract costing more than $100,000, reported the San Jose Mercury News.

The Associated Press contributed to this report