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MDH violated state procurement regulations involving 2 emergency pandemic contracts

January 18th, 2022 by WCBC Radio

WBAL reports a legislative audit found the Maryland Department of Health violated state procurement regulations in emergency pandemic contracts with two firms. The audit was presented Tuesday to the House Health and Government Operations Committee. It finds fault with the process to procure emergency contracts with Blue Flame Medical for personal protective equipment and ventilators in addition to Ernst and Young for oversight of the state's vaccine program.

In reference to Blue Flame Medical, the audit states: "In July 2021, MDH could not locate 475,400 N95 masks with an associated purchase price of $2.1 million. MDH advised that the unaccounted for masks had been distributed but that MDH's inventory records had not been updated to reflect these distributions."

The Ernst and Young contract increased from $3.8 million to $47 million in two modifications.

The audit found: "MDH could not explain the rationale for a $21.3 million contract modification processed in April 2021. MDH could not document that it approved the Ernst and Young employees billed and did not obtain documentation of the work completed by each employee, as required by the contract. We could not verify the propriety of the billings, which totaled $3.7 million at the time of our review."