The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) wasted $1 million on virtual data storage system sold to it by Apple, the watchdog’s internal watchdog barked.
SEC Inspector General David Kotz has been snuffling around SEC’s backend and probing the watchdog’s leasing process which somehow approved a deal which involved Apple and an unknown storage outfit called Cloverleaf.
Apparently it was all because the agency was forced to renege on a plan to rent 900,000 square feet of office space because it failed to secure additional funding from Congress.
Republican lawmakers have been keen to cut funding to the SEC because it has a nasty habit of finding their chums in business guilty of things. So the fact that it wasted cash on a dodgy computer deal is all the ammo they need.
Kotz investigated the SEC’s acquisition of data storage technology. His eyebrow was raised when he noticed that for some reason the outfit had spent money on items from the fruity cargo cult Apple.
This must have raised alarm bells as anything involving Apple gerar has a reputation for being more expensive and largely ineffective for large business use. The deal also involved unknown virtual storage provided by an outfit called Cloverleaf Communications. Cloverleaf was a partner in Apple’s Enterprise Solution efforts. It was later acquired in 2010 by Dot Hill Systems.
According to Reuters, Kotz uncovered numerous problems in the way the deal rolled out, from the equipment itself to the procurement process.
Apparently it all started when Apple salesman convinced the agency that Jobs’ Mob in a glorious alliance with Cloverleaf could provide a cheaper system for the agency’s data storage and backup woes.
The SEC was so convinced by the Apple salesman that it forgot to ask real computer companies to come up with alternative bids and turned over everything to the toymaker.
Cloverleaf had experience with the sort of things that the Apple salesman claimed.. Kotz said the contract was more expensive than other, better-known and less risky alternatives.
Apparently the SEC gave all its budget information to Jobs’ Mob and went ahead with buying before getting proper approval and before performing reviews.
When it tried to use the Apple/Cloverleaf system it was beset with problems and bugs. These were never resolved and the project went tits up.
When staff tried to point out that the Apple/Cloverleaf system was unworkable, a supervisor told them “this information doesn’t leave this room.” To make sure it was not discussed further he fled the room, in the style of Homer Simpson.