Orlando spent $22,000 to send city employees to Las Vegas conference

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There's new fallout over a nearly $9 million contract the city of Orlando gave to a software company.

The city spent an additional $22,000 to send eight employees to Las Vegas for the company's conference.

On stage in Las Vegas, Orlando Chief Financial Officer Rebecca Sutton signed the $8.7 million contract with software company Workday.

Hours before she boarded the plane Orlando city commissioners approved the contract. It was the largest contract the city ever granted without a competitive bid process.

Sutton signed off on the Las Vegas trip for eight administrators.

WFTV's Lori Brown learned that $13,600 of the money for the trip went for Workday's conference registration fees.

The rest went to a five-star resort and casino, airfare and meals.

"Does it sound like a lot?" Brown asked Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer

"For a four-day conference? Depends on what the registration was. Again, had I had the opportunity, I'd probably say going to Vegas to a conference after we awarded a contract has a bad public face to it," said Dyer.

Brown went over the attendees schedule and found that the four day conference had 26½ hours of educational events.

Based on the cost of the trip, that means Orlando taxpayers spent $800 an hour for keynote speakers and breakout sessions.

"For $8.7 million, shouldn't this company provide training?" Brown asked Dyer.

"In some part, I suppose," said Dyer.

The conference ended at noon on a Thursday, but the city paid $1,600 for the group to stay an extra night.

"Is there anything that you will do differently to prevent trips like this from happening?" Brown asked Dyer.

"I don't know that we are going to prevent trips for employees being trained to use technology," said Dyer.