Agenda Item
Docket No. 21-1000
Advisory Opinion request from Robert J. Klein with the Office of Technology Services ("OTS") within the Division of Administration.
Mr. Klein has served as an Information Technology Deputy Director in the Agency Relationship Management ("ARM") Section of OTS since February 25, 2019. In this position he does not supervise any employees.

Prior to his employment with OTS, he worked for the Department of Public Safety ("DPS") for approximately 25 years. OTS was created to consolidate the information technology functions and responsibilities of executive branch agencies. After OTS was created, Mr. Klein was transferred to OTS, Office of Project and Portfolio Management in 2014. Initially, he assisted all executive branch agencies, including the Department of Education ("DOE"), with the transition of IT services, the procurement of IT goods, services, and the provision of overall IT project support. However, since his employment in the ARM Section, his work has been limited to serving as the business relationship manager for DPS, Governor's Office of Homeland Security ("GOHSEP"), Louisiana Alcohol and Tobacco Control ("ATC"), and Office of the State Inspector General ("OSIG"). Since 2019, his work has been limited to those four agencies, and he has not provided services to or for the DOE.

Mr. Klein is considering retiring from state service and entering into a contract to provide project manager services for DOE on its EdLink Project. Between 2014 and 2019, during his employment with OTS, he did provide project management services to or for DOE, but it was not in the last 3 years. However, between May and June 2019, when he was working as an Agency Relationship Manager for DPS, Mr. Klein was included on some emails regarding the creation of the Request for Proposals ("RFP") for the EdLink Project because of his procurement experience. Mr. Klein was not involved in the award of the contract or the project management for the EdLink Project. OTS did not issue the RFP or award the contract with 22nd Century, Inc. The contract is between DOE and 22nd Century, Inc. and was awarded on June 1, 2020. Mr. Klein stated that while 22nd Century, Inc., OTS, and DOE were working on the EdLink Project, they realized that they needed more specific project resources then 22nd Century, Inc. could provide, so DOE/OTS decided to put out a task order request for response to provide staff support resources. This task order was awarded on November 10, 2021 to AB Computing for project management services provided by Mr. Klein and to CCS Global Tech for trainer and administrative services.

Mr. Klein's work on the EdLink Project would be as a project manager for DOE, through the contract between the OTS Staff Aug Contract and AB Computer Solutions. AB Computer Solution would be the party paying Mr. Klein for his work on the EdLink Project.

Mr. Klein appeared at the Board's January 7, 2022 meeting, at which he provided more specific information. During the course of that meeting, the Board deferred consideration of the matter and advised Mr. Klein of the opportunity to seek an emergency opinion. Mr. Klein provided additional specific information via email and requested an emergency opinion. Staff and Mr. Klein have been exchanging emails and staff is speaking with other public employees involved in the EdLink Project. The additional information obtained at this time is provided in the facts and the attachments to this item. Staff has requested that Mr. Klein make an appearance at the meeting in case there are additional questions.
La. R.S. 42:1121B(1) prohibits a former public employee, for a period of two years following the termination of his public employment, from:

1. assisting another person, for compensation, in a transaction, or in an appearance in connection with a transaction in which such former public employee participated at any time during his public employment and involving the governmental entity by which he was formerly employed.

2. rendering, any service which such former public employee rendered to the agency during the term of his public employment on a contractual basis, regardless of the parties to the contract, to, for, or on behalf of the agency with which he was formerly employed.

La. R.S. 42:1121E provides that for "purposes of Subsections B and C of this Section, termination of public employment or service means the termination of employment with the agency which employed the public employee, or the termination of public service with the agency in which an elected official served, when he participated in the transaction."

La. R.S. 42:1102. Definitions

(2)(a) "Agency" means a department, office, division, agency, commission, board, committee, or other organizational unit of a governmental entity. For purposes of this Chapter, "agency of the public servant" and "his agency" when used in reference to the agency of a public servant shall mean:

(i) For public servants in the twenty principal departments of the executive branch of state government, the office in which such public servant carries out his primary responsibilities; except that in the case of the secretary, deputy secretary, or undersecretary of any such department and officials carrying out the responsibilities of such department officers it shall mean the department in which he serves; and except that in the case of public servants who are members or employees of a board or commission or who provide staff assistance to a board or commission, it shall mean the board or commission.

(12) "Governmental entity" means the state or any political subdivision which employs the public employee or employed the former public employee or to which the elected official is elected, as the case may be.

(16) "Person" means an individual or legal entity other than a governmental entity, or an agency thereof.

(23) "Transaction involving the governmental entity" means any proceeding, application, submission, request for a ruling or other determination, contract, claim, case, or other such particular matter which the public servant or former public servant of the governmental entity in question knows or should know:

(a) Is, or will be, the subject of action by the governmental entity.

(b) Is one to which the governmental entity is or will be a party.

(c) Is one in which the governmental entity has a direct interest. A transaction involving the agency of a governmental entity shall have the same meaning with respect to the agency.

To be discussed at the meeting.
Assigned Attorney: Kathleen Allen
2021-1000 Additional Information - Emergency Request - Klein
2021-1000- Add info from R Klein
2021-1000- Add info from OTS
2021-1000 - Initial Advisory Opinion Request Robert J. Klein