Tuesday, June 07, 2005

More security contract problems

The fiasco that is DCPS security continues to roll on. The latest wrinkle: newly installed contractor Hawk One Security Inc. is ranked a high risk by Dun & Bradstreet for bankruptcy and payment delinquency.
On a scale of 1 to 5 that measures the risk that a company will experience "severe financial stress, such as a bankruptcy over the next 12 months," the Dun & Bradstreet report gave Hawk One a score of 5. Similarly, it got a 5 as its credit score, indicating a "high risk of severe payment delinquency over the next 12 months," the report said.

Several city officials, including D.C. Council member Kathy Patterson (D-Ward 3), who chairs the education committee, said that although they were initially alarmed by the report, they have received additional information from Hawk One that has convinced them that the company would be able to fulfill the contract.

The report said the high-risk ratings were based on factors such as bills more than 60 days past due and evidence of liens involving unpaid state and federal taxes.

Several school board members said they are worried about awarding the security contract to a company that could go out of business, citing the threat to student safety if the schools are left without guards.

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