The Columbus Dispatch | Randy Ludlow
Expressing concern about public officials’ unwillingness to justify spending, state Auditor Dave Yost has instructed his staff to gather “additional facts” about millions of dollars in no-bid state contracts uncovered by The Dispatch.
An investigation by The Dispatch, published Sunday, revealed that Ohio Department of Administrative Services officials have for years awarded many information-technology contracts — to two companies in particular — over the objections of state purchasing analysts, who cited the failure to use competitive processes to award the work.
Administrative Services officials said a waiver of competitive selection from the state Controlling Board —largely a bipartisan group of legislators — each biennium allows the agency to award contracts for “specialized” IT consulting without seeking price quotes or bids from others. Other state records suggest that the practice is improper under the department’s own policy.
“I’m concerned about some of the facts. At face value, they are at best concerning and at worst ugly, so we’re collecting additional facts to see if more work is needed,” Yost said Thursday afternoon.