November 21, 2013
Topic: Human Resources
Some of you may have seen a document that was circulated Nov. 18: “Report Regarding the University of Michigan’s Risk in Continuing the Contractual Relationship with Accenture, LLP and Any of its Past and Present Executives.” The document indicates that it was prepared by an ad-hoc group of U-M alumni and graduate students.
I feel compelled to correct a number of factual errors and other misconceptions contained in the document.
As we do with all outside services, we follow a rigorous process for securing competitive bids, evaluating those bids and conducting the necessary due diligence on the companies we consider finalists. That evaluation and selection process, managed by Procurement Services, serves the university well and allows us to be compliant with federal guidelines, purchase supplies and services that meet our quality specifications and achieve significant savings with annual purchases exceeding $1.6 billion.
In this particular situation with Accenture I think it is important for you to know that Rowan Miranda, our associate vice president for finance, recused himself from the evaluation process that led to the selection of Accenture to eliminate any possibility of real or perceived bias, given his recent employment with one of the companies competing for the work. Rowan worked for Accenture for several years in the company’s Chicago office, consulting with government agencies and nonprofit organizations. He received no direct or indirect financial gain from these contracts.
It also is important to correct the statement in the report that Accenture was “taking over financial and IT management” at the university. I assure you that this is simply not true. Well trained University of Michigan employees with deep expertise are managing our day to day finance and IT operations.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any additional questions or concerns. Please share this with others as you wish.