Iowa legislators are questioning the amount of money being paid to a Minnesota firm the Governor hired to find ways to streamline government. The Public Strategies Group will be paid $50,000 for helping create a new state agency. Members of the Legislature’s Government Oversight Committee thought the consultants would be paid based on the amount of savings produced. Cynthia Eisenhauer, director of the Department of Management, acknowledges legislators are getting blind-sided with new details. Eisenhauer says she’s promised to let legislators know in the future about an “addendums” to the deal with the consultants. Senator Mary Lundby, a Republican from Marion who is chair of the Oversight Committee, says she’s worried the consultants are being overpaid. But Eisenhauer promises the $50,000 payment is a one-time deal struck before the consultants agreed to the broader effort to come up savings in state government. Eisenhauer says Public Strategies Group will be paid the first half of its bill when the savings are actually realized, and the second half when state government can prove the changes truly improved service to the public. As an example, she cites the Child Welfare Project, which is anticipated to save $10 Million in state funds under cuts outlined by the consultants. PSG will get five-percent of that savings when the Department of Management certifies that savings has actually been achieved, and another five-percent if and when the state documents improvements in children’s lives.
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