Yost supports move for stricter oversight of state spending on unbid IT contracts

The Columbus Dispatch | Randy Ludlow

Saying that state spending on information-technology consultants and contract workers has more than doubled in five years, Auditor Dave Yost supports a budget proposal that would require state agencies to seek bids on all such contracts.

A provision inserted into the state budget bill by Rep. Keith Faber, R-Celina, would require all IT contracts to be competitively bid and also be approved by the bipartisan state Controlling Board.

Faber added an amendment to the budget bill in the House Finance Committee on Monday to clarify that his proposal explicitly includes consulting services.

A Dispatch investigation published last month revealed that Department of Administrative Services officials overrode the concerns of agency purchasing analysts to award millions of dollars in no-bid contracts, frequently paying more than $200 an hour, including to a company employing former state IT executives. Administrative Services supervisors deny disregarding the agency’s purchasing policy and sidestepping Controlling Board approval.

In the wake of The Dispatch stories, Yost announced that his office would take a preliminary look at the no-bid contracts and state bidding procedures.

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