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GAO faults control board procurement

(Published July 12, 1999)

A recent audit by the U.S. General Accounting Office found that the D.C. financial control board often did not comply with its own procurement regulations in awarding and monitoring contracts. Two emergency sole source contracts for services for former Chief Management Officer Camille Barnett, totaling over $1 million, were let by Chief Procurement Officer Richard Fite without the board’s approval and with no evidence to justify the emergency procurement, the audit found.

"We believe that it was also important for the authority to lead by example by better adhering to its own regulations, ensuring accountability and integrity, and by not following the same type of practices that it was established to correct in the District," the auditors wrote.

The audit also found that the control board lacked adequate documentation to demonstrate that it had actually acquired the goods and services it had contracted for and did not document its basis for contract selection in nine of 10 contracts reviewed. None of the 10 files reviewed contained evidence that the contractor performed satisfactorily prior to payment of invoices.

Control board chairman Alice Rivlin could not be reached for comment. The contracts reviewed in the audit

The audit was submitted to U.S. Rep. Thomas M. Davis III, R-Va., chair of the House oversight subcommittee on the District, and Rep. Ernest Istook, R-Okla., chair of the House appropriations subcommittee on the District.

Copyright 1999, The Common Denominator