Opinion: John Kennedy – Consultant Spending Spree

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Consultant Spending Spree Continues in State Government

The state Division of Administration just released its 2014 – 2015 Annual Report on Professional, Personal, Consulting and Social Services Contracts. A copy can be found here.
According to the report (page 4), “During the period 07/01/14 through 06/30/15, 4,017 contracts and amendments worth approximately $14.5 billion were approved by the OSP-PC [Office of State Procurement].” That’s “b” as in billion, though the taxpayer money will be spent over several years.

A few of those consulting contracts are:

$11,606,366.90 – Covalent Logic, LLC
(marketing for the Office of Economic
Development)
$8,112,500.00 – Celerian Consulting, Inc.
(technical support for la.gov – statewide website)
$9,674,908.00 – Deloitte Consulting, L.L.P.
(transfer to new website for Food Stamp recipients)
$125,000.00 – Articulate Entertainment, L.L.C.
(provide music artists for events
$310,000.00 – Chihuly, Inc.
(building of free-standing sculpture for LSU Med.)
$750,000.00 – Ray King Studio L.T.D.
(installation of sculpture for LSU Med.)
$60,000.00 – Obie B. Simonis
(build outdoor sculpture for Community Ed. Bldg.)
$66,160.50 – Renee Carmouche
(provide pastoral care for Avoyelles Correctional Ctr.)
$105,310.00 – R.Christopher Goodwin & Associates
(archaeological monitoring & shovel testing)
$1,721,783.00 – The Extra Mile Region IV, Inc.
(provides parenting education and peer support)
$350,000,000.00 – MedImpact Healthcare Systems
(pharmacy benefit management services)
$32,000,000.00 – HGI Catastrophe Service, L.L.C.
(Administration of the Homeowner Assistance Prog.)
$510,420.00 – Sheryl Smith
(assist in SSA disability claims)
$60,000.00 – Merrie C. Kidd
(provide expert witness services)
Louisiana families and Louisiana businesses are being asked to cut their budgets so Louisiana state government does not have to cut its budget. Before we enact the largest tax increase in the history of our state, we should review these 4,017 new consulting contracts and the other 19,000 that the state has with an eye towards saving money. Those contracts that are not as important as universities, public schools, roads, health care, coastal restoration and our other priorities should be eliminated. The remaining consultants should be asked for at least a 5% discount.These simple actions could save millions of dollars for Louisiana taxpayers. We don’t have a revenue problem nearly as much as we have a spending problem.

John Kennedy is Treasurer for the State of Louisiana.