The director of Iowa’s Department of Human Services told legislators today she welcomes criticism of her agency, as it leads to “self-improvement.” D-H-S director Jesse Rasmussen says she takes seriously the stewardship of taxpayer dollars. Rasmussen was quizzed about two, high-priced consultants she hired. Paul Cote will be paid over 360-thousand dollars for his work — and the state’s asking him to repay the 54-thousand dollars he’s charged for air travel and hotels. Rasmussen says concern about the process is appropriate. She says they look very carefully at their return on investment when they decide to hire a consultant.Rasmussen defended the consultants’ work and promised to provide legislators with written reviews of their work.Rasmussen testified today before the Legislature’s Oversight Committee, which is reviewing state consultant contracts. For example, the state has a 15-million dollar contract with McLeod Communications.
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