Prison Health Receiver’s Office Violated State Regulations, Audit Finds
Former staff members with the California prison health care receiver violated state regulations and laws when they awarded more than $28 million in technology deals in 2007 and 2008, according to a report released Thursday by the Bureau of State Audits, the Sacramento Bee reports.
In the report, State Auditor Elaine Howle noted that it was impossible to identify all the technology contracts because databases the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation manages for prison health care receiver J. Clark Kelso frequently "contain inaccurate and incomplete data."
In a review of 21 contracts between Jan. 1, 2007 and June 30, 2008, auditors found that:
- There were 24 breaches of state contract laws in 16 contracts;
- Four contracts failed to comply with bidding and evaluation requirements; and
- It was unclear whether "appropriate individuals reviewed and approved 11 of the contracts" (McIntosh, Sacramento Bee, 1/30).
The deals were made under a former prison health care receiver and information officerÂ who have since been replaced, the AP/San Jose Mercury NewsÂ (Thompson, AP/San Jose Mercury News, 1/22).
Kelso requested the audit,Â saying that he was concerned that some of his office's technologyÂ deals might not have followed state regulations or laws (Sacramento Bee, 1/30).
In response to the report, Kelso said he did not believe there was evidence of criminal conduct. However, on Thursday, he asked the state Department of Justice for advice on whether to seek criminal prosecution against the former employeesÂ (AP/San Jose Mercury News, 1/22).
Meanwhile, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) is using the new report in his fight to end the prison health care receivership.
Schwarzenegger spokesperson Lisa Page said, "The audit underscores what the governor, other administration officials and the attorney general said Wednesday -- that the receiver has now become a separate government unto itself, and one that is too costly and not accountable to taxpayers" (Sacramento Bee, 1/30).
The Bureau of State Audits' report is available online (.pdf).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.