Report: TEA Contracts Awarded Improperly

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AUSTIN -- A Texas Education Agency internal investigation found the agency didn't follow policy when awarding contracts for state work.

The report by the agency's inspector general details problems with six grant programs run by the agency. The report will be sent to State Auditor John Keel.

The report says top agency officials -- including deputy education commissioner Robert Scott -- steered contracts to their associates.

Scott says there are no concrete allegations in that report that can be substantiated about wrongdoing.

The Associated Press reports Scott is widely considered to be a candidate to replace outgoing state Education Commissioner Shirley Neeley. The report also says that a consultant for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation recommended hiring specific people, including his ex-wife, for grant contracts.

Greg Shaw with the Gates Foundation says the consultant worked part-time -- and that the foundation staff holds itself to the highest ethical standards.