System auditors at the University of Wisconsin identified a series of missteps in the bidding process for an information technology project at UW-Madison, including two perceived conflicts of interest and several violations of state procurement policy.
Last year, UW-Madison was looking for a vendor to launch its administrative transformation program, a massive effort to move the school’s administrative services, such as payroll, to a cloud-based system.
The multi-year project, jointly sponsored by the university and the system, will ultimately benefit all UW campuses, but the setup and operation work has been mostly done by UW-Madison employees until ‘now, said university spokesman John Lucas.
In late February, UW-Madison canceled requests for all future offerings just days before one of the losing vendors, Deloitte Consulting, alleged that two of its competitors, Huron and Accenture, helped craft part of the the offer and were then selected for approximately $ 800,000. contracts despite the fact that Deloitte initially obtained the highest score.
The System’s Internal Audit Office completed its review earlier this month. The office reports to the system president and the UW board of directors, but has independent authority. The report, provided at the request of the Wisconsin State Journal, found no “direct evidence” of a conflict of interest, but observed instances of what officials described as potential conflicts of interest. These include a supplier who did “pre-planning work” before being selected for the offer and a UW-Madison employee who had previously had a relationship with one of the vendors. suppliers.