Monday, August 8, 2016

"State audit faults DHHS no-bid contracting" Will the News and Record report it?

"In an audit of no-bid contracts the state Department of Health and Human Services awarded, the state Auditor’s office found multiple instances of the agency skirting rules in handing out millions of dollars in business.

Auditor Beth Wood’s office reviewed 59 DHHS contracts from 2012-14

In 2012, North Carolina Governor-elect Pat McCrory 
appointed [Aldona Wos] Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services,
a role she held until August 2015. 

...The audit released Monday found no evidence that a $6.8 million no-bid contract with the consulting firm Alvarez & Marsal was negotiated. DHHS hired the consulting firm to perform a number of functions for the Medicaid office. In the DHHS response, Secretary Rick Brajer said the contract was negotiated, but documentation of DHHS counter-offers was missing from the file.

Where are the counter-offers Aldona?

No evidence of negotiation was found for a $6.9 million contract with Quadel Consulting Corp. That company is working with DHHS on the Transitions to Community Living program, moving people with mental illnesses from institutions to community settings. About 30 smaller contracts, most for temporary medical staff, had no documentation indicating they were negotiated.

Where is the documentation?

...state laws, administrative codes and other regulations require reviews before no-bid contracts are signed. Many of the no-bid contracts that required reviews by the Attorney General’s office, the Division of Purchase & Contract, or another office didn’t get them, the audit said.

Of the 59 contracts reviewed, 27 lacked written justification to waive competition. Twenty-five of the 27 were for doctors, nurses or interpretation services at DHHS facilities. No-bid contracts are allowed in emergencies, but DHHS used that explanation for 13 that were not emergencies, the audit said.

Funny how the article doesn't mention Aldona

The audit cited two such contracts that were with former DHHS employees. Competition was waived for a $1 million contract due to an emergency need, even though the state had had agreements with the same person for 11 years.

It's not really funny,
it's just sad that the actual news doesn't get reported

...Brajer said in his response that DHHS started reassessing its contracting and procurement practices in November 2015. “The initiative will strengthen policies and procedures to ensure required approvals are obtained,” he wrote.
"Aldona Zofia Wos (born 1955) is a Polish-American physician, philanthropist, diplomat, and politician based in Greensboro, North Carolina. After starting her career as a physician of internal medicine, in 2002 President George W. Bush appointed her to the United States Holocaust Memorial Council. Wos subsequently served as the United States Ambassador to the Republic of Estonia from 2004 until 2006, for which the Estonian government awarded her the Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana, 1st Class, by Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves.

Despite criticism concerning computer system glitches and hiring controversies...

...In September 2013, Wos attracted criticism for appointing several key positions in her department to employees perceived as under-qualified, and also for employee pay hikes..."

Taxation is theft, regardless of which of our two political parties are involved