The Daily News reports:
More than a dozen private firms wanted to work on a project like the one the state Education Department is set to award to a Rupert Murdoch-owned company in a $27 million no-bid contract. Critics say, state officials had ample time to competitively bid out the contract and still meet a fall 2012 deadline for a federal Race to the Top grant.
"It raises all kinds of questions," said Susan Lerner, executive director of good government group Common Cause New York. "There appears to be time in this process to go through a much more open-bidding process to ensure that the public is getting the best vendor at the best price."Wireless Generation paid as much as $5,000 a month to lobbying firms to advocate for the contract and Race to the Top funds with state officials.
In December 2010, the state Education Department began work with Wireless Generation on preparing the no-bid contract, A month earlier, Joel Klein had announced he was stepping down as the city schools chancellor to join News Corp., overseeing its budding education division.