Motorola defends contracting practices, dismisses McClatchy stories as containing ‘innuendo’

 

McClatchy Washington Bureau

Motorola Solutions Inc. is rejecting as “innuendo” a series of stories in which McClatchy examined the company’s decades-long dominance of the nation’s emergency communications market.

Published on March 30, the stories described multiple ways in which city, county and state officials have favored Motorola with noncompetitive contracts, including from at least nine of the nation’s 20 largest cities. The firm has reaped billions of dollars in annual revenues amid a nationwide push to avoid a repeat of the radio failures of Sept. 11, 2001.

In a statement, the company called it “very disturbing that a news organization would cast suspicion of any Motorola contract with a government entity that did not fit a generic, competitive-bid model, and at the same time cast aspersions on the integrity of the government entities with which we do business.”

Motorola issued the statement and sent a letter to The Sacramento Bee, a McClatchy newspaper, which published an editorial Sunday challenging policymakers to ask hard questions about how the firm has preserved an estimated 80 percent share of the public safety radio market.

Motorola said that various “legally available” contract vehicles that forgo competitive bids enable governments to “procure in a manner that can achieve cost savings for taxpayers, and enable faster implementation, which can be an important consideration for equipment that can serve as a lifeline for first responders.”

The company did not address concerns about its radio prices – as much as $7,500 apiece.

McClatchy also reported that foundations for the firm and its former parent donated more than $25 million over a recent six-year period to nonprofits with law enforcement- and firefighting-related missions, aiding a constituency that has backed its products.

The company called it “very disturbing that a news organization would question a law-abiding company’s community citizenship.”

“Motorola’s employees and shareholders are deeply proud of the investments our Foundation makes to better the communities where we operate,” it said, adding that the donations “further the invaluable partnership we have with the public safety community.”

In addition, the company defended former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, who responded to radio outages from Hurricane Katrina by spearheading a push for a new statewide radio system and a separate high-speed broadband data-delivery network for first responders.

Motorola won both contracts, which could generate $300 million. Months after leaving office, Barbour registered as a Motorola lobbyist, McClatchy reported.

Barbour, a Republican, showed “tremendous leadership . . . throughout the rebuilding of the devastated areas of Mississippi,” the company said.

“Leaders like Governor Barbour personally understand how the public safety community relies on survivable, interoperable communications during disasters and crises,” the company said. “That kind of leadership and experience is invaluable to us and the first responders Motorola Solutions serves every day across the country. We are proud to have Governor Barbour on our team.”

Read more More News stories from the Miami Herald

  • Racing se ilusiona; River y Boca lo vigilan

    Después de haber cazado al rey de América, Racing Club buscará el viernes enjaular a Tigre para seguir dominando el incipiente campeonato argentino, en el que River Plate y Boca Juniors vienen de cosechar su primer triunfo.

  •  
El jugador de Chelsea, Andre Schuerrle, festeja un gol contra Burnley en la liga Premier el lunes, 18 de agosto de 2014, en Burnley, Inglaterra.

    Chelsea y Man City buscan confirmar favoritismo

    Después de la primera fecha de la liga Premier, las predicciones de muchos expertos empiezan a confirmarse: Chelsea y Manchester City parecen ser los candidatos más serios al título, y Manchester United necesita mucho más que un nuevo técnico para enderezar el rumbo.

  •  
El técnico de Bayern Munich, Pep Guardiola, sonríe durante un partido por la Copa de Alemania el domingo, 17 de agosto de 2014, en Muenster, Alemania.

    Bayern va por su tercer título consecutivo

    Bayern Munich inicia el viernes la defensa de su título de la Bundesliga contra un Wolfsburgo renovado, mientras la afición espera una temporada emocionante tras el triunfo de Alemania en el Mundial de Brasil.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category