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Skyward files appeal and protest to State of Wisconsin over software contract Friday

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Editor's Note:  As of 5:45 p.m. Friday, 2/15/13, The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction issued a "letter to the editor" explaining the selection process.  You may read this document as submitted, attached as a PDF file.

STEVENS POINT, WI (WSAU) -  A Stevens Point software developer has filed an official appeal and formal protest of a recent state contract award. Skyward met Friday’s deadline to file the protest, believing there are several flaws in the process and scoring of their application.

Chief Executive Officer Clifford King says Skyward’s staff has worked hard over the past two weeks gathering information. “We’ve gone through the information, and we’ve found some information that to us, tells us that we’ve got a pretty good case for our appeal.”

The State of Wisconsin selected Minnesota based Infinite Campus as the sole provider of student information software for the state’s schools, but King says their review shows they should have won the contract. “There was some scoring issues that we found that were questionable, to say the least. One of them (was) where the selected vendor that the DPI (Department of Public Instruction) and DOA (Department of Administration) chose got scored higher than what they should have, and there was one where we got scored lower with yes and no questions.”

King says Skyward had lobbied for a multiple vendor system which allows school districts to choose what works best for them. He was surprised to see the state work hard to eliminate single source providers for one service but create a single source provider for another. “Governor Walker was very, very excited to announce that he was able to get Act 10 in place, and he was able to open up the school districts to have choice when it came to health insurance. As I see it, what’s the difference between health insurance and software? I don’t see any.”

The Department of Public Instruction and the State Department of Administration will review the appeal and protest. It’s unknown how long that process will take, or what happens if that review results in no change.

A bipartisan bill has been introduced in the Legislature to require the DPI to have a multiple vendor system, but it was just introduced this week and hasn’t had a committee hearing yet.

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