Political Notebook

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Good work - if you can get it

Good work if you can get it

The Hoosier Lottery is the latest state agency to hire a former state employee to handle communications duties.

Stephanie McFarland worked previously for the Indiana Department of Revenue as an employee. But several years ago she struck out on her own as McFarland PR and Public Affairs LLC. Since then it seems the state is one of her biggest clients.

She currently has three contracts – the Indiana State Fair Commission (which began after the stage fair collapse); the Department of Child Services and now the Hoosier Lottery.

McFarland said the fair commission is a very limited number of hours each month and her contract with DCS expires in September.

The fair contract was for a maximum of $18,000; the DCS contract pays $136,000 over all or parts of three fiscal years.

The new Hoosier Lottery contract tops both, with an hourly rate of $135 and a total cap of $150,000 from June 2013 to June 2014.

The contact was not bid out, though informal information requests were solicited from different firms/individuals.

"We need only part-time support vs. a full-time hire and this provides a more cost-effective solution (versus hiring)," said Karl Browning, executive director at the Hoosier Lottery. "In terms of part-time contracting, we needed someone who contributes immediately with complete understanding and expertise in governmental media support. We conducted this under the sole-source procurement regulation which provides for director discretion."

To contact Niki Kelly email her at nkelly@jg.net or follow her on Twitter @nkellyatJG.

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