On this week’s Capitol Report, Patrick B. McGuigan summarized his recent news story on failures at Oklahoma’s Department of Wildlife Conservation to follow the Sooner State’s competitive bidding process. He told News9’s Alex Cameron, in a segment also broadcast at Newson6, the agency skirted requirements when it selected a PR agency to look at the annual Wildlife Expo.
After leaders at Wildlife were informed they had to follow the Request for Proposal strictures, a procurement officer complained to other agency officials about the mandate. The PR study related to the Expo, which costs taxpayers about $700,000 each year. No evidence was provided that when the RFP process was carried the ultimately selected firm submitted a new proposal. Further, that firm was sent information apparently not provided to competiting PR agencies, McGuigan reported.
The CapitolBeatOK editor repeated his concern about whether other governments agencies are having similar problems following procedures. In dialogue with Cameron, McGuigan reviewed newspaper headlines from across the country supporting analysis that Oklahoma’s public education challenges are not unique: Georgia is suffering through a teacher dropout crisis, Florida and Kentucky face teacher shortages, Ohio’s education spending is flat or declining, North Carolina’s crisis comes from class sizes, and Chicago schools needed a direct city subsidy to open last fall.
In the Super Bowl states, minority parents in Philadelphia have rallied for more charter school slots because of the poor quality in local schools, and The Boston Globe reported on a Massachusetts district where special needs students were endangered or abused.