Anti-Corrupticut Standards Board Might Get Ax

Jon Lender: Watchdog Agency May Get Ax, Just As It’s Begun Looking Into Tech-Schools Scandal

Jon Lender

Jon LenderContact Reporter – Hartford Courant – May 19, 2017

Connecticut’s watchdog agency for contracting—created by lawmakers after the Rowland corruption scandal, but neglected and starved for funds in the decade since—may finally be washed away this year as another victim of Connecticut’s all-engulfing budget disaster.

The State Contracting Standards Board is supposed to save taxpayers money by policing contract-procurement practices. But it found zeros next to its name this week on revised state budget proposals by the governor and legislative Democrats and Republicans for 2017-18.

The agency narrowly dodged the budget ax last year, but the current fiscal mess is much worse—and now the watchdog board’s members and advocates are bumming.

“We were obviously sorely disappointed,” board Chairwoman Claudia A. Baio said Thursday. In budget hearings earlier this year, she said, legislators seemed to recognize the agency’s revived efforts since the governor appointed people to fill longstanding vacancies that had crippled the board in recent years.

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