State officials on Friday released the name of a consulting agency that was awarded a $400,000 sole-source contract in violation of federal rules, one day after the Press Herald requested the information.

A Department of Health and Human Services spokeswoman identified the agency as Public Consulting Group, which is based in Boston but has offices all over the country, including in Portland and Augusta.

Public Consulting Group won a no-bid contract for a grant under the Crime Victims Fund, according to an audit by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Inspector General. The audit examined the period between 2014-2017, during former Gov. Paul LePage’s administration, but didn’t say when the contract was awarded.

The federal grant was supposed to be put out to bid, but was not. As a result of the audit, DHHS had to return the award.

The Crime Victims Fund supports victims through U.S. Department of Justice programs operated by state and local governments. The programs include “crisis intervention, assistance in filing restraining orders, counseling in crises arising from the occurrence of crime, and emergency shelter – to victims of crime.” Some of the grant money is specifically geared toward helping victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.


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