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Government & Politics

Overpaid, Unbid IT Contracts Lead to New State Policy

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GOVERNMENT OF ALBERTA
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FLICKR/CC
Three bids will now have to be received under a new policy regarding state contracts.

A new policy is starting today at the state’s purchasing agency – which investigations show wasn’t following its own rules in awarding some no-bid contracts to outside consultants that were worth millions of dollars.

The Department of Administrative Services will now require three contract bids to be received, not just solicited, and more justification for not taking the lowest bid.  But DAS head Matt Damschroder says no-bid contracts can’t be totally ruled out because of patent and intellectual property issues.

“In those areas, it’s our responsibility to make sure that we’re still getting the best value for the taxpayers.”

Last year, the state auditor and inspector general found at least $15 million in unbid, overpaid IT contracts steered to one company that employed former DAS workers – and they were awarded over the objections of current DAS employees. Damschroder says the process to block that company and those workers from ever receiving any other state contracts has begun.