Missouri pays coronavirus consulting firm another $300,000

Associated Press
The Rolla Daily News

JEFFERSON CITY — The state of Missouri has paid a Virginia-based consulting firm another $300,000 for its work helping officials respond to the coronavirus pandemic, according to state payroll records.

The latest payment means Missouri has paid the McChrystal Group over $829,000 out of federal funds aimed a covering the costs of pandemic-related expenses. The payments come from a controversial no-bid contract that is worth $248,000 a month, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

The contract, which runs through Dec. 31, could be worth more than $1.3 million but the cost could be reduced if state employees replace company workers. A review is set for September.

The contract began June 1, less than a month after Republican Gov. Mike Parson said the the Missouri Foundation for Health would pay up to $600,000 for the company's work.

A copy of the contract shows the McChrystal Group didn't sign it until July 31 and the state didn't sign until Aug. 5.

Parson aides say the firm provides a management structure to coordinate problem solving on a pandemic issues between various state agencies and the governor's Cabinet.