- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 2, 2001

RICHMOND (AP) — Virginia's Transportation Department will pay an additional $800,000 to a contractor it fired for botching its biggest information-technology project.
The highway agency already has paid Woodside Summit Group $45.8 million for a computerized records system that was never completed, and, the agency says, likely never will be.
VDOT said it agreed to pay the additional money to cover work done by one of California-based Woodside Summit's software subcontractors on the document-management system.
Woodside had filed a claim against the Transportation Department for more than $3 million to pay subcontractor Sequoia Software Corp. for work it performed, but for which VDOT had not paid, according to the department's head.
VDOT canceled the Woodside Summit contracts in November 1999 after an internal audit turned up excessive profit margins, unsupported billings and a potentially fraudulent transaction.
But a year-and-a-half-long state police investigation into the Woodside Summit contract has concluded that no criminal wrongdoing took place, the state police superintendent, Col. W. Gerald Massengill, said Friday.
The transportation department also officially ended the project for its own "convenience" rather than alleging the contractor failed to produce properly, thereby leaving the state with no legal recourse, officials said.
VDOT had squirreled away $1.5 million in its information technology budget this year to cover a settlement.
"We basically budgeted an amount well in excess of this settlement, in the computer services areas," state Transportation Commissioner Charles D. Nottingham said, "so it will not have any negative impact on any construction or maintenance projects."
As a result of the settlement that Mr. Nottingham signed Friday, Woodside Summit has agreed to drop any claims against the state.


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