By John Kennedy, State Treasurer
Louisiana state government has at least 18,710 consultants on its payroll. I say “at least” because the sad fact is, according to the Legislative Auditor, the state doesn’t even know the exact number of consultants it has, because there is no central database listing all of them. Furthermore, the database we do have has been changed by the Division of Administration to make it less transparent.
Many of the state’s consulting contracts could be eliminated, reduced or given to our universities in order to save taxpayer money.
Below are a few of the consulting contracts you are paying for or have paid for in the past. There are many more:
* Contract #2000121024; “Educational Guidance Services Contract;” New Orleans South Africa; $1,670,421.
* Contract #702019; “Provide spiritual and religious guidance to inmates at Elayn Hunt Correctional Center and Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women and serve as imam (Muslim spiritual adviser);” Haneef Hanee Uqdah; $39,980.
* Contract #733168; “Accompany and coordinate the travel of university officials to China for business meetings and serve as logistics coordinator and translator in China;” United Matrix International; $49,999.99.
* Contract #4400007574; “Outdoor sculpture for community education building at LSU Eunice;” Obie Simonis of Somerville, Massachusetts; $60,000.
* Contract number unavailable on database website; “Sponsor the Aerospace Alliance Reception to be held in Paris, France, in connection with the Paris Air Show 2015 Event;” The Aerospace Alliance; $25,000.
* Contract #717427; “Research on the Effects of the Macondo Oil Spill on Coastal Ecosystems;” University of Tennessee; $551,797.
* Contract #2000125629; “Sales and Business Promotion Activities;” BBR Creative Inc.; $11,412,916.90.
* Contract #2000135946; “Sponsor activities for the Travel South International Showcase in Charlotte, North Carolina;” Travel South USA of Atlanta, Ga.; $35,000.
* Contract #2000121498; “Educational Guidance Services Contract;” Just One Word Inc., $1,015,200.
* Contract #681869; “State sponsorship of Chimpanzee Discovery Days, involving broad media attention to observation of chimpanzees in a spacious forestry habitat;” Chimp Haven Inc.; $10,000.
* Contract #714507; “Research on the Effects of the Macondo Oil Spill;” Rutgers University; $413,357.
Louisiana state government has a spending problem.