CONTRACTS QUESTIONED …
Formal complaints are being prepared against South Carolina GOP gubernatorial candidate Catherine Templeton – and the two state agencies which awarded her consulting contracts following her resignation as director of the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) in January of 2015.
According to citizen advocate Brenda Bryant, who is filing the complaints, Templeton’s contracts with SCDHEC and the Palmetto State’s Department of Revenue (SCDOR) should not have been issued on a no-bid basis. Bryant says she is forwarding her complaint regarding the contracts to John White, the interim director of the Palmetto State’s procurement services bureaucracy.
White’s agency is under the auspices of the S.C. State Fiscal Accountability Authority (SCSFAA) – a quasi-executive, quasi-legislative administrative entity which recently replaced the old S.C. Budget and Control Board.
One of the individuals who sits on that board? South Carolina governor Henry McMaster – Templeton’s top opponent in next spring’s “Republican” primary election.
According to state law, all contracts over the amount of $50,000 must awarded via competitive, sealed bidding. However there are dozens of exemptions from that requirement – including a sole source exemption in the event “there is only one source for the required supply, service, information technology, or construction item.”
Since one of Templeton’s contracts was issued to her in her capacity as a former director of a state agency, it seems that exemption would apply. As for the SCDOR contract, sources close to the agency say it was also a sole source procurement based on counsel Templeton “uniquely had to give.”
Whether the contracts awarded to Templeton withstand scrutiny or not, Bryant said she believes they were wasteful.
“I believe that South Carolina needs a governor who is fiscally responsible,” Bryant told us. “This is why South Carolina can’t pave roads – the taxpayers money is enriching state directors, consultants, legislators and lawyers. It’s time for fiscal responsibility.”
Templeton’s contracts were blasted last week by McMaster’s campaign – which is facing a tougher-than-expected challenge from the Charleston, S.C.-based attorney. Of course Templeton punched back – hard – once again proving that she is far more of a threat than McMaster’s campaign ever anticipated.
A spokesperson for Templeton’s campaign said the contracts she received were “standard practice” under former governor Nikki Haley and were approved by the SCSFAA.
“This is nothing but typical political games from politicians desperate to keep power,” the spokesperson told us.
As for Bryant, she told us she isn’t supporting Templeton or McMaster next spring.
“I don’t believe South Carolina needs a good ol’ boy or a good ol’ girl for governor,” she told us.
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