- Associated Press - Thursday, August 27, 2015

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - An audit says California’s prison health care operator cost taxpayers $3 million by paying a contractor just to do paperwork.

The state auditor on Thursday said Correctional Health Care Services paid $17 million to upgrade electrical systems in state prisons beginning in 2011.

But the audit says but the work was done unlawfully under an existing master agreement instead of being put out to bid.

Auditors also say the deal paid for goods and services that weren’t delivered for nearly a year, and wasted $3.2 million the contractor received just to process invoices from a subcontractor that did the actual work.

Health care services spokeswoman Joyce Hayhoe says staffers at the time thought they were acting appropriately but are receiving additional training to make sure future contracts are handled properly.

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