Wisconsin auditors probe computer consulting contracts

Wisconsin auditors probe computer consulting contracts

By Wilson P. Dizard III

GCN Staff

MARCH 16'Prompted by an anonymous letter that complained of inflated consultant salaries, Wisconsin's legislative audit agency has launched an investigation of state computer consulting contracts.

The anonymous letter to a state legislator said some consultants are paid $200 per hour and added, 'They come and go at will, pick their own hours, and brag about their good fortune at the expense of the Wisconsin taxpayer.'

The Wisconsin Assembly's majority leader, Rep. Steven Foti (R-38th), asked the legislature's Joint Committee on Audit to conduct the investigation after he received the letter. The review began in the fall, and the audit team plans to finish up this summer.

Legislative auditors have received 'many inquiries regarding this issue,' Foti said in a letter requesting the probe.

Wisconsin spends at least $77.4 million on computer consulting contracts annually, state auditor Janice Mueller said. But state agencies account for the expenditures inconsistently, she said, so the true figure is likely much higher.

The auditors will review the number of computer services contracts, the types of vendors providing the services and those vendors' hourly pay rates. They also will check the extent to which state employees leave their jobs and later become consultants to their former state agencies.

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