The Hawaii Department of Transportation filed a lawsuit Wednesday against Ciber Inc., alleging that the consulting firm “defrauded the State and engaged in other misconduct.”

The state is seeking tens of millions in damages, including more than $8 million in fees it said it paid to Ciber, according to a press release from the DOT.

The lawsuit alleges that Ciber pulled a “bait and switch” by “misrepresenting its capabilities in order to land a contract” to replace DOT’s existing computer system with a new system to run the state’s highway financial management operations.

Beretania Street traffic heading west bound near the Punchbowl Street intersection. morning traffic. 3 march 2015. photograph Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Beretania Street traffic heading west bound near the Punchbowl Street.

Cory Lum/Civil Beat

UPDATE: In a statement emailed Wednesday to Civil Beat, a spokeswoman for Ciber said the following:

The Hawaii Department of Transportation’s lawsuit is frivolous, contains numerous lies and misstatements, and is completely without merit. Since the beginning of our engagement with HIDOT, we have operated in good faith, fulfilling our contractual obligations and providing the agency with quality IT and consulting services. Ciber was proud to help HIDOT implement a system that would benefit the people of Hawaii, but HIDOT apparently had other priorities. After HIDOT inexplicably terminated its agreement with Ciber, we filed a claim seeking payment for work already completed.

We are disappointed that HIDOT has refused to honor its contractual obligations with Ciber and has now filed an inflammatory lawsuit as retaliation after we attempted to collect funds properly due to our company. Ciber has been in the IT services business for nearly 40 years, providing technology support to Fortune 500 and midmarket companies, as well as federal, state and local governments. We pride ourselves in delivering quality IT services to our clients around the world and stand by our track record of success.

The DOT says the state removed Ciber from the project earlier this year “as a result of missed deadlines, missing functionality and software bugs and glitches.”

The project, known as FAST, began in 2008.

“This lawsuit reflects Hawaii’s commitment to ensuring that vendors who violate the public trust will be held accountable for their misconduct, and that taxpayers will be protected,” said Ford Fuchigami, Hawaii Department of Transportation Director. 

How much do you value our journalism?

Civil Beat focuses exclusively on the kind of journalism most at risk of disappearing – in-depth, investigative and enterprise coverage of important local issues. While producing this type of journalism isn’t cheap, you won’t find our content hidden behind a paywall. We also never worry about upsetting advertisers – because we don’t allow any. As a nonprofit newsroom, we rely on donations from readers like you to help keep our stories free and accessible to everyone. If you value our journalism, show us with your support.

 

About the Author