Inspector General Finds Ohio Lacks Fair Bid Contract Policies

Dec 18, 2017

Ohio's government lacks rules for awarding bid contracts by outside IT vendors, said a report issued Monday by the Ohio Inspector General.

According to the report, Ohio's Department of Administrative Services did not give fair and equitable contracting opportunities to all companies competing for state business.

Earlier this year, The Columbus Dispatch reported two information-technology consulting firms pocketed more than $17 million in unbid contracts because DAS sidestepped state policies.

Inspector General Randall Meyer hired an independent firm to investigate the Ohio Department of Administrative Services’ procurement process.

“They were looking for the overall process that is in place, any conflicting issues,” Meyer said. “Which they did find numerous conflicts between the Ohio administrative code policies and procedures that are written in DAS.”

According to the report, DAS lacked adequate written rules, failed to enforce appropriate oversight of state contracting and broke state and departmental policies. The report lists 13 recommendations to improve the existing process.

“I know the Department of Administrative Services already started to fix some of these issues, but there were some that were being verbally handed out to their staff that we determined needed to be put in writing,” Meyer said.

The Ohio Department of Administrative Services has 60 days to respond to the report with a plan to fix some of the oversight issues.  

Multiple investigations involving DAS are still underway. The Inspector General says the next one should be released towards the end of January.