KANKAKEE, IL – During a hearing to address the mismanagement of taxpayer money, state Representative Kate Cloonen demanded answers and solutions from the state agency tasked with tracking state property. The hearing was initiated by Cloonen when she learned that Central Management Services (CMS) failed to properly maintain records of millions of dollars' worth of real property.
"This hearing was called to address gross mismanagement within CMS and to make certain that taxpayer dollars are not being wasted," said Cloonen. "The hearing also provided my colleagues and I the chance to investigate CMS's record keeping problems and hold those accountable for their egregious errors. Illinois is still facing serious fiscal problems, and I will continue to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to cut wasteful spending, hold agencies accountable and eliminate fraud."
Cloonen called for the hearing after a report exposed insufficiency within the CMS's record keeping database. Specifically, CMS's master list of state owned property was incomplete and inaccurate. Millions of dollars in state property were not listed, and the report exposed that some state vendors were paid over 400 dollars an hour. When confronted by Cloonen about what types of services were contracted for the high pay, CMS said they did not know. Moreover, the method for disposing of surplus real property was not adequate or timely. Over the past 7 years, only eight surplus properties had been sold or conveyed by CMS or conveyed by public act.
"Our state government must be an efficient and fiscally sound one," Cloonen said. "Legislators have a duty to the taxpayer to ensure such wasteful mistakes like CMS's record keeping issues are not only fixed, but never repeated."