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Monday, December 06, 2021

Auditors evaluate UW-Madison bidding process

The University of Wisconsin System requested reviews from the Office of Internal Audit on Thursday to investigate University of Wisconsin-Madison’s bidding process for the Administrative Transformation Program.

ATP is a university program working to implement the Procure-to-Pay (P2P) Automation Project — an effort that seeks to benefit purchase experience for users, motivate compliance and assist standardized business processes, according to its website. Last year, UW-Madison announced program implementation and looked for prospective vendors who could assist with the process.

The bidding process was initially inspected by the UW System in February. However, professional services network Deloitte Consulting addressed concerns regarding discrepancies between the UW-Madison bidding process and the procurement process in Wisconsin, reported Kelly Meyerhofer from the Wisconsin State Journal.   

UW System Interim President Tommy Thompson acknowledged the procurement process oversight as the cause of the bidding process review, said Meyerhofer. The procurement process step would have informed Deloitte — and other vendors who were not chosen — about the selection of Huron and Accenture, granting the other vendors opportunities to submit appeals to the Wisconsin Department of Administration.

“Deloitte alleges UW-Madison allowed two competitors, Huron and Accenture, to participate in crafting part of the bid and then bidding on the project — a process the company decried as ‘marred by a lack of transparency, unequal treatment and conflicts of interest that cannot be tolerated in government procurement,’” said Meyerhofer.

Accenture received a contract worth $819,000 during the bidding process, and Huron received a contract worth $808,000.

Prospective vendors will not be sought after while auditors inspect the UW-Madison bidding efforts, reported the Associated Press.

“An audit will determine all the facts, but this process issue is not believed to have resulted in a material impact on the awards made to two of five vendors that submitted bids through this open, public process,” said Assistant Vice Chancellor of University Communications John Lucas.

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