BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A new report by the Louisiana Legislative Auditor revealed the state has nearly 15,000 contracts worth $21.3 billion, but state agencies are not using a centralized database to record and track them.
State lawmakers are busy trying to balance a budget, but standing in the way is a $1.8 billion deficit. That sea of red must be addressed before legislators can tackle next year's finances. It requires reviewing state contracts to see where cuts can be made.
State Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera reviewed the method in which those contracts are approved and tracked. That alone, he said, was a lengthy process.
"There's not one centralized database for a legislative, or public, or anyone to go to get the total number contracts and the amounts for those individual contracts," Purpera said.
State law does not require that there be a centralized agency for state contracts. Purpera wants lawmakers and the public to be able to find that information at a moment's notice.
"Often times the legislators would like to know what contract we have, who those contracts are with and what are the amounts of those contracts. So this would make it easier for them to gather the data without having to go through some 72 agencies out there that have contracts," Purpera said.
While a database does exist, Purpera said not all agencies are using it. He believes keeping a catalogue of government contracts could help prevent future headaches when lawmakers are faced with another shortfall.
"I'm sure it would cost little to staff for entry time. I'm sure we'll find out the benefits are worth it," Purpera said.
The audit listed the top ten Executive branch entities by contract amount including offices with the Governor's Division of Administration listed as the top two.
The Division of Administration responded to the audit noting it keeps a central record of contracting activity for citizens and public officials at