DePasquale announces audit of contract to revamp statewide radio system

Author: Kara Barmoy/Thursday, May 3, 2018/Categories: News and Views, Video

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale held a press conference Thursday morning where he shared his anger and annoyance towards the failing statewide radio system that Pennsylvania State Police and first responders have been using. 

DePasquale stated that he will soon be starting an audit of the contract for the statewide radio system.

“What ticks me off is that in the 20 years of this contract the bureaucrats in Harrisburg never could make sure the system was working properly,” he stated. “And who paid the price? Not the bureaucrats but the taxpayers and the State Police.”

More than $800 million have been spent on the 1996 contract that was initially only supposed to cost $179 million. That amount does not include the addition $44.5 million that were spent for the 2016 contract.

“I am here today because I want to make sure the safety of police officers comes before bureaucratic paper pushers,” He said.

DePasquale argued the system failed in September 2014 in the Poconos while state troopers led a 48-day manhunt for a suspect who ambushed and shot two state troopers.

“My goal is to ensure proper checks and balances are in place so the new network will succeed after 20 years of failure,” he said.

The audit will look at “what led up and went into the 2016 request for proposals to replace the statewide radio network, compliance with procurement procedures, including writing of specifications, vendor solicitation, and contract performance measures,” DePasquale said.  Also included in the review will be any outside communication that lobbyist influence may or may not have had in the contracting process and the current status of the contract.

If the auditors find areas where improvement or changes are needed, the Auditor General plans to push to have the contract re-opened for those involved in order to make any improvements.

This audit will begin soon and an engagement letter will be sent out as early as next week.