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Questionable $110M State Deals Bypassed Reviews (page 262623)

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(credit: Annie Potasznik)

(credit: Annie Potasznik)

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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – State officials say $110 million in no-bid health contracts that are now the focus of a criminal investigation bypassed two routine oversight boards for deals of that size.

The Austin American-Statesman reported Tuesday that the lucrative contracts with Austin-based 21CT skipped those reviews while avoiding a bidding process. The tech company was hired to help the Texas Health and Human Services Commission root out Medicaid fraud.

A spokeswoman for the state comptroller says it’s unclear whether the bypassed reviews violated state law.

Two high-ranking state health officials resigned this month as scrutiny over the contracts intensified. Three others were sent home on paid administrative leave.

Public corruption prosecutors in Austin are preparing to open a case. Health Commissioner Kyle Janek has said he doesn’t believe anyone acted illegally.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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