Article from: www.thenewspaper.com/news/22/2236.asp
2/21/2008Camera Maker Admits Ticketing is Addictive
Cities get addicted to red light camera and speed camera revenue according to the CEO of Affiliated Computer Services.
A top vendor of speed camera and red light camera services told investors that his company represents a great investment opportunity because the cities who use his product cannot resist the steady revenue stream it creates. Lynn Blodgett, CEO of Affiliated Computer Services (ACS), spoke earlier this month to the Technology, Telecom and Internet Conference hosted by the Thomas Weisel Partners investment bank. Blodgett made the pitch that no matter how bad the economy might get, there never be a lack of demand for outsourcing large-scale government programs to ACS.
"As an overall statement, people are typically in tougher economic times," Blodgett said. "Our clients are typically more attuned to outsourcing and doing more because they need to save money. And so in that way we tend to -- we say we're a good company in good time and we're a great company in bad times and it's because the services we provide are mission-critical."
The most critical programs for state and municipal governments in tough economic times, Blodgett argued, were those that transfer money from taxpayers to the government. He suggested that once a city tries red light cameras, it will never go back.
"The government services that we provide are either funded as part of entitlement programs, or they help generate revenue," Blodgett said. "I mean, a red light camera system for a city generates a lot of revenue and so they're not going to cut back on those type of areas in an economically challenged time."
Blodgett took over as CEO of the company in 2006 after his predecessor, Mark A King, stepped down in a stock fraud scandal. Kind admitted that he and the company's number two official at the time "violated the company's code of ethics for senior financial officers." The company had also faced bribery charges for lavishing gifts on Edmonton, Canada police officers who later recommended ACS for a $90 million no-bid photo enforcement contract.