Audit Faults California Prison Receiver’s Office for No-Bid Contracts
The California prison medical receiver's office violated state laws by making almost $27 million in information technology purchases without following the required competitive bidding process, according to a report the California Bureau of State Audits released Thursday, the AP/San Jose Mercury News reports.
The infractions occurred during the tenure of Robert Sillen, whom U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson tapped as prison receiver in 2006.Â Henderson replaced Sillen with J. Clark Kelso last year.
In 2007 and 2008, receivership employees made 49 no-bid purchases and signed a contract with Verizon Communications and a subcontractor to install telephone and data lines, according to the audit (AP/San Jose Mercury News, 1/22).
The audit said, "Staff at various levels ... had little, if any, understanding about the competitive bidding requirements imposed by the federal court" (Myers, "Capital Notes," KQED, 1/22).
Kelso said that the companies did nothing wrong and that he does not think former employees reaped any personal benefits from the no-bid purchases. Â Staff involved in the purchases no longer work at the receivership.
Kelso said he has adopted new contract procedures since taking over the receivership (AP/San Jose Mercury News, 1/22).
BSA posted the report on its Web site (.pdf).
In related news, Taxpayers for a Safe Ventura County filed a lawsuit Thursday against Kelso to block his plans to build a new prison hospital facility near Camarillo (Biasotti, Ventura County Star, 1/23).
Kelso proposed building seven prison health care facilities across the state to address problems in the prison medical system (California Healthline, 12/11/08). Kelso declined to comment on the lawsuit because he has not reviewed it entirely (Ventura County Star, 1/23).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.