Published Online: January 3, 2006
Published in Print: January 4, 2006, as Va. Review Finds Confusion, No Wrongdoing, in Contract

News in Brief: A State Capitals Roundup

Va. Review Finds Confusion, No Wrongdoing, in Contract

The watchdog agency for the Virginia legislature says that the state education department had some difficulty articulating why it chose one company to administer state tests over a lower-cost bidder, but that the department appeared to have followed its own rules.

In October, Virginia gave a $139.9 million contract to Pearson Educational Measurement Inc., of Iowa City, Iowa, to provide the state’s Standards of Learning tests. Legislators questioned why the department did not pick San Antonio-based Harcourt Assessment Inc., whose bid was $106 million.

After reviewing the process, the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission concluded last month that the selection committee was not required to document or explain the rationale for its scoring, and later had difficulty explaining the process. The commission recommended that the education department require a written analysis from selection-committee members. It also suggested that the state require agencies to write a memo about why one vendor is chosen over another.

Vol. 25, Issue 16, Page 15

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