Newspaper Finds Ohio Agency Awarded Millions In No-Bid Contracts

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – A newspaper investigation has found the Ohio Department of Administrative Services awarded millions of dollars’ worth of no-bid work despite concerns from purchasing analysts that the information-technology contracts were improper and too expensive.

The Columbus Dispatch also found that some no-bid contracts were awarded to a company that employed former Department of Administrative Services officials and the agency failed to obtain price quotes from three competitors, a requirement to bypass scrutiny by the state Controlling Board, which has approval power of purchases and contracts over $50,000.

DAS is the purchasing agency for state government in Ohio.

An agency spokesman told The Associated Press on Sunday that rules requiring DAS to obtain three bids to bypass the Controlling Board applies to items like office supplies but not professional services contracts.