Des Moines, Iowa — Two Iowa lawmakers are calling for an investigation into the state’s $26 million no-bid contract for Test Iowa.  Rep. Ruth Ann Gaines, Ranking Member of the House Government Oversight Committee, and Rep. Chris Hall, Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Committee, made the formal request in a letter sent today.

“We are writing to request a Government Oversight investigation into Test Iowa when we resume session on June 3. It’s clear that Test Iowa failed to meet the goals outlined by Governor Reynolds. Iowa taxpayers are on the hook for $26 million and they deserve to know whether their money is being spent wisely,” the lawmakers said in the letter.

The letter cites multiple problems with Test Iowa that have been uncovered since it began, including: daily testing numbers well short of the 3,000 tests per day promised; total number of Test Iowa tests still secret; long wait times for test results; no-bid contract to an out of state company; and faulty equipment.

“If the Government Oversight Committee is unwilling to do its job, House Democrats will seek to review the contract and its implementation during the appropriations process. We trust what Iowans and local officials are communicating about their experiences with Test Iowa. If Iowans can’t get the answers they deserve regarding Test Iowa, it may be time to cancel the contract,” said the letter.

The 2020 Legislative Session is set to resume on Wednesday, June 3.  The letter is below.

Rep. Mary Ann Hanusa-

We are writing to request a Government Oversight investigation into Test Iowa when we resume session on June 3. Like most Iowans, we were excited when we first heard about Test Iowa. We believed it was a good first step in combating COVID-19 with 3,000 additional tests a day, traveling to outbreaks and a screening process that focused on the most vulnerable.
However, it’s clear that Test Iowa failed to meet the goals outlined by Governor Reynolds. Iowa taxpayers are on the hook for $26 million and they deserve to know whether their money is being spent wisely. Since the announcement of Test Iowa, the following problems have been documented:

• Contract awarded without a competitive bid process to an out-of-state company with limited testing experience
• Daily testing numbers are well short of the 3,000 tests per day promised
• Total number of Test Iowa tests conducted and processed still secret
• Extremely long wait times for test results
• Faulty equipment
• Weeks long validation process
• Damaged tests
• Vulnerable Iowans being denied tests
• Iowans having to travel hours to be tested
• Hastily closing testing sites

We request the following guests to the Government Oversight committee to discuss their role in negotiating the contract and administration of Test Iowa; Paul Trombino, Sarah Reisetter, David Roederer, a representative from DOMO, a representative from Qualtrics, a representative from Co-Diagnostics, a representative from NomiHealth, a representative from RPH Engineering, a representative from SafeLane Health, a county public health director, a representative of the Iowa Hygienic Lab and a representative from the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.
If the Government Oversight Committee is unwilling to do its job, House Democrats will seek to review the contract and its implementation during the appropriations process.

We trust what Iowans and local officials are communicating about their experiences with Test Iowa. If Iowans can’t get the answers they deserve regarding Test Iowa, it may be time to cancel the contract.

Rep. Ruth Ann Gaines Rep. Chris Hall
Ranking Member Government Oversight Ranking Member Appropriations