Iowa auditor questions $ 21 million state software contract paid by CARES Act

Written by Colin Wood

The Iowa auditor said on Monday that the state’s recent use of $ 21 million in federal pandemic relief funds to purchase accounting software was inappropriate.

The state’s department of social services used funding from the CARES Act to pay for a new contract with Workday, a company that sells cloud-based financial management software. State auditor Rob Sand said the contract should be dropped and if funding is not reallocated to another purpose the state could end up with the bill, the Associated Press reported.

Sand’s warning is the latest complication to visit heads of state governments across the country who have rushed over the past seven months to deploy new technology, such as new software platforms for their services. health.

Gov. Kim Reynolds said the project allowed the state “to move quickly to help critical government workers.”

But Sand, whose conclusion was supported by findings from the Treasury Department’s Office of the Inspector General, pointed out that the state approved the five-year contract with Workday last year, before the pandemic began. and that the goal of the project had not changed in a way that would allow it to be funded by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.

Similar confusion has arisen over technology projects in other states. Plans to expand the reach of high-speed internet, which had already been on the rise in recent years, gained popularity this year as students and workers were forced to use their home connections. But some heads of state have underestimated the upgrades, fearing they will not meet the requirements of the CARES Act and end up with an unaffordable bill, while other states have decided to ignore the requirements almost entirely. of expenses. in hope the federal government will not want to recall the funding.

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