Two state reports offer competing conclusions on the cost of using outside engineers to do road work rather than state employees.
One says state workers are 18% cheaper, while the other finds private contractors cost less.
A Department of Transportation study finds that replacing a state engineer with a consultant drives up costs about $19,000 a year, or 18%. It's the first sign from the state that contracts may not be as cost effective as many had thought.
But the administration says that study didn't take into account state work hours that aren't spent directly on engineering, such as training and vacation. It says the cost is really about 43% higher.
Legislators raised red flags after the DOT outsourced road sign production at three times the previous cost and a 50 million Medicaid contract was not put out for a bid in a decade.