Rep. Douglas Reichley
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Contact: Todd Abele
Member Site: RepReichley.com
Caucus Site: PAHouseGOP.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 21, 2009
HARRISBURG – The following statement was issued today by Rep. Doug Reichley (R-Berks/Lehigh) in reaction to Auditor General Jack Wagner’s call for reform of the state’s contract award practices and for an end of pay-to-play in Pennsylvania:
"The auditor general’s report is a profound and broad-ranging indictment of the pay-to-play process. It is clear the Rendell administration continues to turn a blind eye toward awarding no-bid contracts to preferred vendors such as Deloitte Consulting LLP, while at the same time relying on the expertise of former Deloitte employees, which the administration has hired as consultants. These same employees are the ones who are drafting the contracts that we are now finding out have been awarded to Deloitte to the tune of $592 million over the past four years. This dollar figure is equivalent to one-sixth of the $3.2 billion budget deficit we just dealt with during the budget process.
"Over the last several years, these and other contracts have not only been awarded with no public bidding, but they have been awarded with no public notice at all, and according to the auditor general, the original contract awarded to Deloitte has bloated by 55 percent over four years.
"Back in February, House Republicans offered a package of bills to end pay-to-play, which included my House Bill 383, which requires any contract awarded by the executive branch or any legislative caucus with an initial value of more than $100,000 to be subject to the Procurement Code and undergo competitive bidding. It requires contracts be awarded only to firms on an approved list of contractors.
"We can do better. There is no question that this report confirms the points House Republicans have emphasized over the last year about the no-bid contracting process. House Democrats have held no hearings on our bills, which clearly have merit, as shown by the auditor general’s report. This is a politically courageous move by Auditor General Jack Wagner to critique the questionable practices of a member of his own party.
"This governor seems to have employed a Watergate-style cover-up strategy, including ‘misplacing’ documents and denying access to relevant data that was clearly designed to inhibit disclosure of questionable no-bid contracts to the auditor general. It is not surprising however, that political allies of the executive branch were being rewarded, or that many former employees who worked for Deloitte were writing the no-bid contracts as paid consultants. In fact, $2.25 million in walking around money was handed out by the governor to Deloitte in one of the governor’s now-infamous cardboard check ceremonies.
"Action is needed on contract reform measures now. We can no longer afford to allow this governor to issue no-bid contracts to political allies, many of which are working for the administration as consultants after being employed in the private sector."
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