Fasano Statement on Lamont Hiring a Consulting Firm to Manage the State’s Reopening at Cost of $2 Million

May 13, 2020

Senate Republican Leader Len Fasano (R-North Haven) released the following statement regarding the governor’s administration hiring Boston Consulting Group on May 9, 2020 to oversee the state’s reopening strategy between May 1, 2020 and June 28, 2020 at an estimated cost of $2 million. This consulting firm advises the richest companies in the world and last year had global sales totaling $8.5 billion. The hiring was not announced to the public and the details of the contract were never discussed or shared with the public or legislative leaders. Details emerged yesterday only after the governor was questioned by the press.

“There’s a reason why there are three branches of government. The legislature represents the voices of the people across our state. We talk to constituents every day about the real-world problems they are facing, how they are struggling to put food on the table, and the questions and concerns they have about getting back to work. We bring checks and balances to the executive branch. But instead of working with lawmakers to develop Connecticut’s strategy to get people back to work safely, the governor is contracting out our legislative authority with little transparency,” said Fasano.

“When lawmakers first heard rumors of a consultant being brought in, we asked what was happening and were told this group was helping out and not charging Connecticut anything, no contract was ever shared, and there was never any update beyond that. Now, this consulting firm has been hired in the dark to be the state’s ‘control tower’ on one of the most significant issues ever to face our state, and they are being paid a significant amount using either state taxpayer dollars or federal taxpayer dollars when the state’s finances and core services are already under strain. While thousands of Connecticut residents go without paychecks week after week and small mom-and-pop businesses are either struggling or may never reopen, these consultants are making almost $250,000 per week off the state. There was no public announcement or press release explaining their expertise or role. There was no effort to voluntarily share anything with the public until a reporter started asking questions. If we want to open up the state of Connecticut we need to open up the administration first.

“I am extremely disappointed that the governor would rather hire consultants than listen to those elected by the people or even those experts they’ve appointed on their Advisory Group. The governor made promises that reopening would involve stakeholders, Connecticut medical experts, local job creators, and legislative leaders. But now we know the truth that this consultant company is driving public policy. The governor’s administration, including people like DECD Commissioner David Lehman and Chief of Staff Paul Mounds, have been accessible and easy to talk to. They are working hard to move this state forward. But when a consultant group that has never even talked to the legislature is making most if not all of the decisions the people of this state lose. This confirms what legislative leaders have been hearing, that the governor has not been collaborating with many members of their own advisory group, let alone legislative leaders. It’s the big guys telling the little guys what to do. I can understand wanting to bring in experts, but why hide it? And these consultants have yet to provide anything close to clear metrics or guidelines. The governor has released only vague guidelines at best. Lawmakers and the people we represent still have dozens of outstanding questions and while Mr. Lehman and Mr. Mounds do their best to answer these questions apparently the real answers lie deeper in an impenetrable and secret corporate world.

“Connecticut needs a reopening plan that instills confidence in the public and that recognizes the challenges working and middle-class families in Connecticut face every day. The governor’s strategy of ignoring the people, and perhaps even his staff, and working with high paid consultants behind the scenes accomplishes none of these goals.”