Audit Found State Overspent on Lousy Contracts

California’s state auditor has found poor contract oversight and a lack of planning have needlessly cost taxpayers millions of dollars.

The report on the Departments of General Services and Technology says far too many non-competitive contracts were awarded, and the initial cost of other contracts increased exponentially with amendments that weren’t fully examined.

In one instance highlighted by auditors the California High Speed Rail Authority demanded a $3-million contract amendment with a financial consulting firm. The Rail Authority claimed the contract vendor had skills that were, “specialized and not widely available,” though auditors said this was not a valid reason, as there are many firms that could perform the work.

The Rail Authority only submitted the request 17-days before the financial contract was to expire, and the auditors said that created something of a false emergency that could have been avoided.

The audit recommended the state legislature require agencies to report high value non-competitive contracts and possibly hold hearings to examine the justifications.

The report was posted here.

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