Gov. Sam Brownback’s $135 million contract with Accenture is “illegal” – Republican Rep. Trent LeDoux
Holton, Kansas, Rep. Trent LeDoux – “My concern is this contract with Accenture, which, in my opinion, is an illegal contract.”
Shawnee, Kansas, Rep. John Rubin, former federal judge and FDIC Regional Counsel — “The darn thing [ObamaCare] is unconstitutional. Why would we take steps in Kansas to implement anything?”
A small, defiant group of House Republicans joined forces with the tea-party flavored Union of Patriots to pressure Gov. Sam Brownback to cancel a $135 million contract for a computer system designed to track applicants for state social services.
Rep. John Rubin, a Shawnee Republican, said he met with Brownback in an effort to convince the governor the state should have nothing to do with computer system changes that played into mandates for health insurance reform crafted by Democrats.
“The darn thing is unconstitutional,” Rubin told a Statehouse gathering of about 10 House and Senate Republicans. “Why would we take steps in Kansas to implement anything?”
The state entered into a five-year contract with Accenture calling for expenditure of $85 million for technology acquisition and implementation of the database and $50 million to operate and maintain the system.
Meanwhile, Accenture agreed in September to pay $63 million to settle a suit tied to a scandal involving acceptance of kickbacks after recommending certain hardware and software to the federal government. The U.S. Department of Justice also accused Accenture of fraudulently increasing prices and rigging bids on government contracts.
“My concern is this contract with Accenture, which, in my opinion, is an illegal contract,” said Rep. Trent LeDoux, a Holton Republican.
Rumbling from the likes of Shute, Rubin and others within the Republican Party played a role in Brownback’s decision to return a $31.5 million federal grant earmarked for IT systems directly related to implementation of national health insurance reform.
Brownback, while governor-elect in November, didn’t object to Kansas’ application to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for the grant. The award was approved in February, but Brownback unexpectedly decided to send the money back to HHS immediately prior to the August meeting of the state GOP that was shaping up to be a forum for rebellious Republicans unhappy with the grant.
“It undercuts our legal argument before the Supreme Court,” [Rep. John Rubin] said. “The only remedy is to cancel the contract.”
Connect with Benjamin Hodge at Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, The Kansas Progress, and LibertyLinked. Hodge is President of the State and Local Reform Group of Kansas. He served as one of seven at-large trustees at Johnson County Community College from 2005-’09, a member of the Kansas House from 2007-’08, a delegate to the Kansas Republican Party from 2009-’10, and was founder of the Overland Park Republican Party in 2011. His public policy record is recognized by Americans for Prosperity, the Kansas Association of Broadcasters, the Kansas Press Association, the Kansas Sunshine Coalition for Open Government, the NRA, Kansans for Life, and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE).