Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Recovery School District and Consultant Expansion

Though Paul Pastorek and Paul Vallas will laud this as a measure that will reduce "red tape," I think it is quite troubling.

The Senate Committee on Finance amended House Bill 891 to allow Pastorek to hire educational consultants without taking bids on contracts for the work.

He would be able to hire a consultant for a year’s worth of work beginning July 1 at no more than $250,000.

Currently, consultants who are paid more than $50,000 must be hired through a competitively bid contract.

Thus, the Recovery School District has reduced oversight on academic consultant contracts, quintupling the amount of money they can dole out in a single purchase without a price comparison. Upon hearing of this story, two things popped into my memory:

1. Paul Vallas got into trouble in Philadelphia for increases in the number of no-bid consultant contracts awarded over the course of his administration.

2. Some of the consultant contracts already awarded here in Louisiana by Mr. Vallas have already come under the scrutiny of the Times-Picayune.

I think this gives Mr. Pastorek and Mr. Vallas an awful lot of leeway...

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