How the state’s 21CT deal flew under the radar

As state and fedHow the state’s 21CT deal flew under the radar photoeral investigators continue to look into Austin tech firm 21CT’s no-bid contract with the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, company executives in recent weeks have waged an aggressive public relations campaign, claiming the project was competitively bid and followed the law.

The company’s Medicaid anti-fraud contract was brokered by state officials through the state Department of Information Resources, a contracting hub designed to speed up technology purchases and leverage Texas’ negotiating power. That agency, too, has released an FAQ in which it takes issue with the classification of 21CT’s deal as “no-bid.” 

But an analysis of contract documents, state purchasing data, the timeline of events and interviews with several state officials confirm that no matter how the story is spun, the company’s $20 million deal and a pending $90 million extension — canceled late last year after an American-Statesman investigation into the deal — skirted the rules and bypassed any real competition. FULL STORY