Audit faults state CMS department

Apr 22, 2014

Illinois government’s top administrative agency came in for criticism Tuesday. An audit faulted the Department of Central Management Services for everything from math errors to abusing the procurement process. 

Central Management Services, or CMS, is one of the biggest agencies in Illinois. It handles a range of services for much of state government, from personnel and benefits to procurement and public relations.

Auditor General William Holland says CMS made significant errors — basically, bad math — in reporting its finances.

“When we pointed it out, I think the department was probably more embarrassed than anything, and happy to resolve those issues."

Holland’s audit also says CMS was circumventing the normal procurement process for routine expenses like contracting for cell phone service. Instead, those contracts were awarded as emergency purchases, simply because the department couldn’t meet normal deadlines.

“When we looked at the emergency purchases, we determined that the only thing that was emergency about it was the name that they put on it. There were not in fact emergency purchases."

CMS agrees with the auditor’s critique and says it’ll work to improve on both counts.