In a welcome shift from the Kasich administration, the Department of Administrative Services has said it will enforce new policies regarding contracting out IT services. It will also ban some vendors who have conflicts of interest with the state agency.
Matt Damschroder, the new DAS director, announced the process changes this week that include: receiving and reviewing a minimum of three bids and taking lowest bid or else requiring justification. Read more.
Previously, DAS had said it solicited three bids, but did not necessarily receive three, nor did they necessarily go with the lowest, “state qualified” bid, according to the Columbus Dispatch, which originally broke the story that launched a serious investigation on DAS contracting out. That all changes under the new policies.
Two years ago, the Dispatch uncovered the story that $17 million of taxpayer money had been misdirected to vendors who were not properly vetted and who received much more than the contracts were worth. Additionally, the agency tried to discipline a “whistleblower” who was a member of OCSEA and who warned officials in a meeting about these contracts. An inspector general found the employee was only doing his job.