Auditor Urges Oversight for Jail Contracts

FRANKFORT(AP) – Kentucky’s auditor says county jails routinely awarded communications contracts without competitive bidding. State Auditor Mike Harmon on Thursday urged legislative action to oversee the contracting.

Vendors awarded the communication services contracts can provide video, email or text options for inmates to stay in contact with their families. Harmon says his office surveyed jails and examined the communication services contracts in effect between July 1, 2019, and November 15, 2020.

Based on survey responses, he says 32 contracts were awarded by competitive bidding. Another 81 contracts either weren’t bid or the respondents didn’t know whether the contract had been bid.

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