Auditor: Pa. board bungled system contracts

Auditor: Pa. board bungled system contracts

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board violated state procurement regulations and improperly incurred $408,000 in cost overruns as it issued $1.5 million in sole-source contracts for its new Warehouse Management System, state auditors charged.

The board rejected the allegations.

Auditor general Robert P. Casey Jr. said the board, which operates the state's retail liquor stores, violated competitive bidding requirements when it awarded to Logistics Consulting Inc. of York, Pa., three contracts between 1997 and 2000.

'The fact that only 4 percent of the total amount awarded to this consultant was done on a competitive basis in accordance with commonwealth regulations is troubling and indicative of a need to dramatically improve the PLCB's procurement process for consultant services,' Casey said when he released the report last month.

According to the report, liquor board managers admitted that the warehouse system hadn't been tested properly, couldn't locate products for storage or shipping, had other bugs, and hadn't been reviewed by outside IT professionals. The managers also conceded that they had not properly planned employee training on the system.

Board spokeswoman Donna M. Pinkham said, 'The board's position is that every decision they have made with regard to the contract was appropriate.'

Pinkham said many companies experience software problems that require additional work to fix. 'To have switched contractors would have meant learning-curve problems,' she said.

She also said the auditor's charges were politically motivated.

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