LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s administration is moving forward with a proposed state Department of Human Services technology contract despite a majority of senators voting twice against reviewing the proposal.

House members voted 21-2 to review the proposed contract, but senators voted 9-6 and 10-6 against the review.

Some lawmakers have criticized the department’s proposed three-year, $75.3 million contract with Deloitte Consulting because it’s more expensive than the three-year, $54.4 million proposal submitted by current contract holder Northrop Grumman, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported.

“Now that the Legislature has had its opportunity for review of the pending DHS contract with Deloitte for IT services, I will instruct the procurement director to approve the contract in accordance with his legal authority, which is the next and final step in the procurement process,” Hutchinson said.

Department spokesman Amy Webb said Northrop Grumman has contracted with the department for more than 20 years.

Advocates of the Deloitte Consulting contract said it would cost $5 million less annually than the current contract with Northrop Grumman. They added that Deloitte was awarded the contract based on its technical expertise.

“The Deloitte contract was considered by the legislative committee multiple times, discussed in depth and received numerous votes,” Hutchinson said.

State officials said Deloitte won the bid after scoring higher in a technical evaluation by a committee of state employees. The technical evaluation made up 80 percent of the overall score, while the cost made up 20 percent.

Under the proposal with Deloitte, the company would provide support for about 200 software applications used by the Human Services Department.


Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, http://www.arkansasonline.com

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