NYC awards $46M COVID-19 contract to controversial company

#NYC awards $46M COVID-19 contract to controversial company

June 6, 2020 | 7:42pm

The city has awarded an emergency no-bid contract to a controversial company for up to $46 million for new COVID-19 contact-tracing technology.

The Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications clinched the deal with the MTX Group, a growing start-up whose founder and CEO Dastigir “Das” Nobel boasts he wants to buy the Dallas Cowboys.

DoITT commissioner Jessica Tisch said NYC Health Hospitals started using the system Monday.

Nobel lists a modest home in Slingerlands, near Albany, as his business address, but he has moved to a mansion in Frisco, Texas.

MTX, which pays the well-connected law firm Greenberg Traurig for lobbying, has had some trouble in other states, including a cost overrun scandal in Kentucky. Nobel also faces allegations in federal court in New York that he failed to pay owed commissions.

Dallas recently awarded a 27-month, $295 million contract to MTX, which includes contract tracing personnel. That massive deal raised eyebrows because the firm beat out tech giants like IBM, AT&T and Accenture.

An MTX spokeswoman did not address the controversies. In a statement to The Post, Chief Financial Officer Christina Bailey said the company “has a demonstrated and successful track record on public sector projects around the country.”

Mayor de Blasio said Wednesday that 2,500 contact tracers would be hired by Friday to call people who test positive for COVID-19, ask them to identify who they’ve had close contact with, then call those people to check for symptoms and recommend quarantines.

MTX Group founder and CEO Dastigir “Das” Nobel.
MTX Group founder and CEO Dastigir “Das” Nobel.Twitter

City Hall spokesman Avery Cohen on Saturday said 3,000 contact tracers have been hired. But H H spokespersons would not reveal how many patients have been contacted, saying the data “is not ready” for release.

In addition to contact tracers, hundreds of “monitors” are supposed to check in daily with patients and those exposed.

The program also includes “reservationists” to put people in 1,200 free hotel rooms the city has booked for those who have nowhere to safely quarantine. Officials would not say how many rooms are occupied.

“Resource navigators” will refer clients to various services, including free meal deliveries.

Tisch said MTX will be paid a $5 million fee to integrate customer-management and call-center operations by subcontractors Salesforce and Twilio. The subcontractors will be paid according to how many contact tracers use them. Tisch said the maximum $46 million would cover 15,000 personnel.


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