Mt. Airy business at center of school spending controversy

The Philadelphia Inquirer is looking into whether The School District of Philadelphia improperly awarded a $7.5 million contract to a Mt. Airy business.

IBS Communications is located on the campus of New Covenant at 7500 Germantown Ave. The company’s founder and Chief Executive Officer is Darryl Boozer who was once profiled in Black Enterprise magazine in 2000.

At the crux of the Inquirer story is whether School Superintendent Arlene C. Ackerman and others improperly intervened to give IBS a multi-million dollar contract to install security cameras in 19 schools. It was a job that the school district had already given to another company.

Mt. Airy plays into the story more than once. According to the story, John L. Byars, executive director of the school district’s procurement office sits on the board of a Mt. Airy business incubator called Business Center at New Covenant Campus located at 7500 Germantown Ave. New Covenant leases part of its office space to IBS Communications. Byars approved the paperwork giving IBS the work.

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IBS’s website describes the business mainly as a provider of internet and voice communications for businesses. You would call a company like this if you wanted to install an integrated phone system for small to medium sized company. There is no mention of video surveillance services.


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