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Crowe Horwath, the firm that the Evansville City Council has declined to accept the job due to restrictions that HCW placed on any information that they would provide that would not allow the information to be released to the City Council even under a Non-Disclosure Agreement.
According to Crowe, HCW also requiring the right to review any report before it may be provided to the Council which would impede their ability to issue a report. HCW’s desired NDA strictly prohibits Crowe from sharing HCW data with the Evansville Common Council who is the potential funding agency for the project. The letter from Crowe to Evansville is as follows:
Letter from Crowe-Horwath to City Council and Mayor’s Office
During our call late last week, you asked Crowe to work with the Mayor’s counsel, Ted Ziemer, to formulate a scope of work designed to meet the objectives of the Common Council of the City of Evansville (“Council”). As requested, we provided a draft engagement letter and statement of work to Ted on September 7, 2013. As you know, the developer, HCW, mandated the execution of a Non-Disclosure Agreement (“NDA”) as a prerequisite to any access by Crowe of information necessary to perform the work. HCW’s desired NDA strictly prohibits Crowe from sharing HCW data with the Common Council. HCW is also requiring the right to review any report before it may be provided to the Council. Therefore, we may be impeded from issuing a report.
Crowe cannot accept these requirements and restrictions. As originally discussed, this project envisioned Crowe being a consultant only and not a decision-maker. Crowe is only assisting the City Council by providing an analysis of data so that the Council can make a decision. HCW’s requirements and prohibitions inappropriately place Crowe in possession of information that the Council should have, and HCW’s restrictions provide no way for Crowe to give the Council the information the Council needs to make an informed decision. Crowe cannot proceed on that basis.
While we have diligently attempted to work through these issues, we have determined that we cannot satisfactorily resolve these concerns and, therefore, are not in a position to move forward. As a professional services firm, it is crucial that the Council, our client, have access to all pertinent information so that it can have all information needed for the Council to make a decision and support its deliberations. There can be no concern or perception that our report was based on information not available to the Council or that our report was inappropriately influenced or affected in any way by restrictions placed on us by any other party. Accordingly, Crowe will not be pursuing this particular project any further.
We appreciate your turning to Crowe for your needs. We are sending you this so as not to delay the City or the Council in their efforts to pursue an alternate provider for what is needed.
A. Ridgeway Miller, CPA | Partner
Crowe Horwath LLP
3815 River Crossing Parkway, Suite 300
Indianapolis, IN 46240