Report 93015 Summary - April 1994

An Analysis of the State's Compliance with Requirements for Consultant Contracts (Letter Report)

The Department of General Services (DGS) is responsible for providing administrative oversight of state departments entering into consultant contracts to ensure they comply with applicable state laws and regulations. Nevertheless, the State does not always adhere to requirements of the California Public Contract Code and the State Administrative Manual that apply to consultant contracts. In fact, we found significant areas of noncompliance.

Specifically, departments do not always comply with the following requirements:

Obtain approval of consultant contracts before contract work is begun;

Review prior evaluations of contractors being considered for new contracts and review resumes of persons expected to perform contract work;

Complete evaluations of contractors within 60 days of the completion of the contract;

Ensure that contracts contain the appropriate provisions of the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1990; and

Submit an annual report of consulting contracts to the DGS.

At 12 of the 21 departments we reviewed, contracts did not have the necessary approval before contract work began. At these departments, 33 of the 106 contracts reviewed lacked prior approval. Fourteen departments failed to review post-evaluations or to require resumes of appropriate contractor personnel before contract approval for 65 of the 112 contracts reviewed. Twelve departments did not prepare postevaluations for 26 of the 77 contracts reviewed that required postevaluations and that were completed in time for the postevaluation to be required by the end of our fieldwork.

Six departments for 13 of 49 contracts reviewed failed to ensure the contracts contained the appropriate provisions for the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1990. In addition, 15 departments did not submit annual reports of their consulting contracts or submitted them late to the DGS for fiscal years 1991-92 and 199293.

Further, for 29 of the 87 sole-source contracts reviewed, the evidence supporting the justifications for sole-source contracting was inadequate. Therefore, we conclude that some departments are overusing sole-source contracts. In addition, some of the 21 departments' annual reports of their consultant contract did not always meet the requirement to identify whether the contracts were sole-source contracts. Finally, based on the completed contracts we reviewed, state departments are using the consultant services for which they contract and pay.