The News & Observer’s Joseph Neff had this story over the weekend about several of the high-dollar personal contracts being awarded to administrators in the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.
The agency failed to produce justification memorandums for several contracts given to top administrators in DHHS Secretary Aldona Wos’ agency despite an agency requirement to do so.
From the story:
In most major departments in state government, officials must explain in writing when they want to hire an individual with a contract for services.
But at the Department of Health and Human Services, where Secretary Aldona Wos has awarded at least seven such deals, those rules are not being followed in most cases.
Wos, an appointee of Republican Gov. Pat McCrory, has awarded a number of high-dollar contracts, including one worth $312,000 a year to former State Auditor Les Merritt and another worth $310,000 to a vice president from the company owned by Wos’ husband. But in both of those cases, and in at least four others, the department says it can’t locate any memos written to justify the contracts.
Department policy requires a justification memo for sole-source and personal-services contracts. Under state law, the documents would be public records.
“No justification memorandum was located by agency personnel,” DHHS attorney Kevin Howell wrote in response to a public records request.