Auditor General Says No-Bid Contracts are Costing State Taxpayers

Pennsylvania Auditor General Jack Wagner issued a scathing rebuke of the Rendell administration’s use of no-bid contracts, specifically in relation to over a half-billion dollars given to Deloitte for technology consulting. 

Specifically, the audit noted a lack of competitive bidding, a dramatic increase in the value of the contracts, little transparency, and even giving Deloitte corporate welfare for ‘job creation’:

Wagner said that $382 million worth of contracts initially awarded to Deloitte swelled by 55 percent, to $592 million… Auditors also found shoddy monitoring and record-keeping, and were thwarted by the Department of General Services’ refusal to provide public documents, raising concerns about whether taxpayers overpaid for its services, Wagner added.

Wagner said the audit also raised concerns about the transparency of the bidding process and a lack of centralized oversight authority. He also said his audit highlighted the need for legislative action to curtail excessive spending in the procurement process created as a result of sole-source and emergency contracts and change orders.  …

Auditors also faulted the Department of Community and Economic Development for providing Deloitte with a $750,000 economic-development grant for job creation or retention that was used to purchase office furniture and equipment. In addition, DCED gave Deloitte $1.5 million in tax credits for job retention or creation while it was receiving $592 million in contract payments from state government.

Note that the cost overuns of Deloitte’s contracts alone are more than the expected revenue from table games.  Click here for brief stories from the Patriot News, Associated Press, and Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.