There just is no end to the crap our state is dishing out . . . Tuesday can’t come soon enough.
UNIONS GRIEVE OPEN GOVERNMENT VIOLATION ON STATE CONTRACTING REPORT
A public grievance reading about a missing state report on contracts will be held by the GEF 1 Stewards Committee on Friday, June 1 from 12:00 noon to 12:30 pm at two locations: (1) UW-Madison, Memorial Union, 800 Langdon St., Madison, on the front steps, and (2) the Department of Administration, 101 E. Wilson, Madison, at the front doors.
Every year on October 15, the Department of Administration is required to report to the legislature on its contracts for services, according to §16.705(8), Wis. Stats. Historically, the Department of Administration has produced this report, called the “Contractual Services Purchasing Report.” The report was not produced in 2011 and is now over 7 months past deadline.
“We are shining a light onto the shadowy ‘mushroom patch’ of wasteful private contracts in state government,” said Duane Konkel, steward with the Wisconsin Professional Employee Council. “The state is paying private companies $300 an hour or more, when the same work could be done less expensively by using state employees. Perhaps it is no wonder that the Walker Administration is trying to hide these contracts from the public.”
The University of Wisconsin is affected by this privatization as well as state agencies. The legislature recently exempted the UW from the requirement to perform Cost Benefit Analysis before signing contracts for services over $25,000. On UW-Madison’s contract with Huron Consulting for the “Academic Excellence” project, Huron’s billing rates went up to $325 per hour in 2011. Huron is also a vendor working on UW-Madison’s HR Design project and worked on the $81 million payroll system project that began in 2009 at UW System (HRS System).
According to the Carl Aniel of AFSCME 171, “Under the cover of these obscure contracts, corporations are taking over major functions of state agencies and the UW. Serving the public is becoming a lower priority. We need job creation in Wisconsin, but these contracts shift work out-of-state. That’s not the Wisconsin Idea that the UW stands for.”
A WISC-TV analysis showed that the state spent $13.8 million more just in the first four months of 2012 by outsourcing DOT engineering rather than performing the work in house with state engineers. According to Konkel, “We are concerned about the potential to reward campaign donors by giving them lucrative public contracts. Even minimal safeguards to provide the legislature basic facts on state contracts are being ignored. The Walker Administration’s disregard for the public’s right to know is disturbing.“
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