Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Report Questions Contract Compliance, Financial Reporting of Private Prisons in Texas

A report by the State Auditor's Office in Texas uncovered a significant amount of issues in the state's ability to monitor its contracts with private prisons, due largely to inconsistencies in the contracts and what they require.  The Auditor found that all 7 of the private prison contracts it randomly reviewed had no set of financial reporting requirements, and many contracts did not inclued performance standards with which to measure compliance.  It also found that the agency charged with monitoring private prisons failed to clearly delegate its work, allowed some private substance abuse treatment centers to perform their own backgrounds checks independent of government oversight, and worst of all, failed to even justify WHY they would renew the states millions of dollars worth of contracts with private prison operators.  Basically, the private prison industry and the agency meant to monitor it in Texas are a huge mess of buearacracy that lacks any real means of measuring or enforcing compliance with contracts that cost taxpayers millions upon millions of dollars.

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