FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
News from Progress Michigan
August 18, 2015
Report: Snyder Administration Oversight Failures Led to Aramark Problems
Emails show that lack of state oversight and follow through a constant occurrence
LANSING — A report released today by Progress Michigan, a government watchdog group, shows that the Snyder administration and the Michigan Department of Corrections was just as complicit in the problems that plagued the scandal-ridden Aramark contract as the company itself.
“This report shows that the Aramark scandals went way beyond the damning headlines already reported,” said Lonnie Scott, exectutive director of Progress Michigan. “There were constant issues regarding not only the contractor, but how the state handled oversight as well. It’s clear from their own documents that the administration was unable or unwilling to hold this private out-of-state contractor accountable to Michigan taxpayers. This lack of oversight on this contract should call into question all private contracts that the Snyder administration is responsible for providing oversight.”
According to MDOC documents, problems related to food quality and sanitation, prisoner safety and facility security, and adminstration occurred 3,707 times in an eight-month time period. Furthermore, the report notes that the Snyder adminstration and the Department of Corrections failed to address 1,791 of the issues allowing them to become persistent or recurring in Michigan’s prison kitchens.
The report is based on documents obtained via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. Progress Michigan reviewed over 25,000 pages of emails between the Department of Corrections and Aramark. The contract issues were identified by the Department in Letters of Recommendation sent to Aramark. These documents show that the Department and the Snyder administration created a governing culture that allowed these persisent issues to become a reality across Michigan’s prisons.
“With Gov. Snyder doubling down on his failed privatization experiment, it is important to understand that his own administration failed to hold the last vendor accountable,” Scott continued. “There is little doubt the administration’s failures will continue unless further scrutiny and accountability is applied to all privatization across Michigan.”
The report can be found here.