Lawmakers take aim at Ohio’s system of awarding IT contracts


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio lawmakers have moved to impose a competitive process on information-technology contracts that state administrative officials now may award without bids.

The Columbus Dispatch reports (http://bit.ly/2oMM8cU ) an Ohio House budget amendment would erase the Department of Administrative Services’ system of no-bid, information-technology contracts. It requires competitive selection of firms and sign-off by a key legislative panel.

The proposal follows an investigation by the newspaper. It found department officials sometimes thwarted policy and analysts’ warnings to award millions of dollars of questionable no-bid IT contracts, often at excessive prices and to firms where former department executives worked. The review looked back to 2011.

The department has held a waiver of competitive selection on such contracts for 45 years. A spokesman says the arrangement allows flexibility that’s saved taxpayers millions of dollars.

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Information from: The Columbus Dispatch, http://www.dispatch.com