Baltimore Board Votes Down New Phone Contract

BALTIMORE (AP) — A Baltimore spending board has rejected a $7.4 million contract with IBM for a new phone system.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake was among those who voted against the contract during a Board of Estimates meeting Wednesday. The mayor said she thought the city could implement a new phone system in less time and at less cost.

The thorny issue has divided the mayor and Comptroller Joan Pratt, who cast one of the two votes in favor of the contract and whose office oversees the city’s phones. She says an updated phone system would bring significant savings, and has accused the mayor’s information technology office of purchasing new phone equipment without telling her.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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