New contract for Pa. state emergency radio system to get audited

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania’s independently elected fiscal watchdog will review the latest contract to provide a statewide emergency radio transmission system that follows hundreds of millions of dollars in costs and years of criticism.

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said today his agency would review the state’s $45 million contract awarded in 2016 to ensure it carries adequate financial protections against performance failures.

The state first allocated $179 million in 1996 to build a network that Pennsylvania State Police officials say never overcame coverage and reliability shortcomings. They say it was worthless during 2014’s Eric Frein manhunt.

The state has now committed more than $800 million to build a network, and DePasquale says he can’t recall another state contract failure of this size.

State police in 17 counties were expected to be using the new system by June 30.

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