* The routers don't work with the State Police Voice over Internet (VoIP) phone system, so they have been installed in only two locations. The state will have to spend another $85,000 to buy additional equipment to make them work.
* Some state agencies did not do a proper survey before the purchases to find out the kind of routers needed.
* The State Purchasing Division allowed the Office of Technology to bypass state law in purchasing the routers from Cisco without going through the bid process. Competitive bidding could have saved the state millions.
How did this happen?
Clearly, several state agencies involved in the router deal dropped the ball. However, the audit also points a finger at Cisco, suggesting that the company showed a "wanton indifference to the interests of the public."
"The Legislative Auditor believes that Cisco sales representatives and engineers had a moral responsibility to propose a plan that reasonably complied with Cisco's own engineering standards," the report says.
Perhaps, but up-selling is nothing new, and with billions in federal stimulus money being pushed through, it's doubtful West Virginia is the only place where taxpayer dollars have been wasted.
However, as the audit reveals, in this case our state government was either negligent or a willing participant in this fiscal fiasco.
Kercheval is host of TalkLine, broadcast by the MetroNews Statewide Radio Network from 10 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday. The show can be heard locally on WCHS 580 AM.