Brett J. Blackledge of The Birmingham News used state records to show that Alabama's Department of Human Resources has spent millions on computer consultants, including payments to former agency employees who left DHR only to return for consulting work. "The agency responsible for helping needy children and families now is facing questions from federal officials about how much money it has spent on consultants and how some of those consultants are related to agency officials. DHR has spent more than $20 million since 2003 on computer consultants, with dozens receiving between $50 and $85 an hour. Not all the jobs are highly technical computer positions. Some of the former state workers are paid from the computer contracts to handle financial and administrative jobs in the agency, records show."