FACT: The Quinn administration has targeted state employees and managers inside his administration–
It’s Illinois’ largest project in history outside of road construction.Upgrading the outdated Medicaid Management Information System (MMIS) will cost up to $190 million dollars. An intergovernmental agreement with Michigan was used to avoid a bidding process.
But, not one Springfield lawyer issued a legal opinion regarding this agreement. Why?
Let’s examine the timeline:
1. August 20, 2012: Illinois executives lobbied Michigan to avoid a procurement process by “extending the contract” of their primary vendor, CNSI. December 12, 2012: Then, Illinois contracted with Michigan – to circumvent bidding and vendor competition.
2. August 19-23, 2012: While Illinois executives are helping Michigan to “extend their CNSI contract,” CNSI entertains Illinois executives on a private open bar Boat Cruise in Boston Harbor with Bollywood performers.
3. December 13, 2012: One day after Illinois and Michigan signed their intergovernmental agreement, CNSI is sued by the only healthcare exchange in Michigan.
4. March 24, 2013: Governor Bobby Jindal terminates CNSI contract in Louisiana citing a criminal grand jury probe of irregularities during the bidding process. Investigation is on-going . December 4, 2013: Yet, IL Chief Information Officer Stephen DePooter says “there has been no showing of a criminal investigation of CNSI.“
5. May 24, 2013: With no legal memo to show the media, two Illinois executives write a “legal memo” for IL Chief Procurement Officer Matt Brown to sign. Read emails and memo here.
6. July 2013: Illinois and Michigan officials claim millions in cost savings but can’t prove it. Federal and state officials produce no cost-benefit analysis and admit a “gap analysis” between the two different state MMIS systems was never started.
7. August 20, 2013: Chicago Tribune reports that Illinois officials state they knew the entire history of CNSI and went forward anyway. Arkansas comes to a different conclusion disqualifying CNSI from its bidding process as an “irresponsible vendor.”
8. September 17, 2013: The contentious legislative hearing at James R. Thompson Center was recorded and available online for a few days, but then disappeared. An equipment “malfunction” makes the backup cd mostly inaudible.
9. Fall of 2013: Quinn administration targets perceived whistle blowers within state government- harassing and personally investigating state employees and managers.
Primary Vendor sits on project “Steering Committee: Does one company, CNSI get to trade on government information, plan implementation, potentially fence out competitors, and then procure the public contracts without bid? Read this email
State legislature–“in the dark”: the Quinn administration buried a $26.126 million appropriation for the MMIS upgrade in the Public Aid Recovery Trust Fund.
No transparency- Quinn administration denied any relationship with CNSI as late at May 17, 2013; rejected all meaningful Freedom of Information Act requests for Planning Documents, and Implementation Documents and Key emails. The Edgar County Watchdogs sued the administration for purposefully withholding key emails.
Yet, Quinn’s administration is investigating their own employees rather than backing out of this bad deal.Typical Illinois politics. Insider companies get the lucrative contracts, whistle blowers get investigated, and taxpayers get the bills.
Gov. Patrick Quinn looks more like his two immediate predecessors by the day.
Illinois deserves better.
Founder & Chairman, For The Good of Illinois
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