Review of the Procurement Services Department of the Houston Independent School District
Council of the Great City Schools Page 2
Duane JohnsonChief Procurement OfficerLos Angeles Unified School DistrictChristopher SteeleSenior Director, Purchases & SupplyNorfolk Public SchoolsThe Council
s team conducted fieldwork for the project during a four-day site visit toHouston on October 9-12, 2011. The general schedule for the site visit is described below. (Amore detailed working agenda for the site visit is presented in Appendix B.)The team met with the Houston superintendent, chief financial officer, chief of staff,controller, and interim general manager of procurement services on the first day of the sitevisit to discuss expectations and objectives for the review and to make final adjustments tothe work schedule. The superintendent described his concerns about the district
sprocurement function and identified areas where he wanted the team to focus its attention.The team used the first two full days of the site visit to interview staff members andreview documents, reports, and data provided by the district. (Lists of individualsinterviewed and materials reviewed by the team are presented in Appendices C and D.)
Thefinal day of the visit was devoted to synthesizing and refining the t
eam‘s findings and
recommendations, and debriefing the superintendent, chief financial officer, chief operatingofficer, chief of staff, and controller.The Council sent a draft of this report to team members for their review to ensure itsaccuracy and to obtain their concurrence with the final recommendations. This managementletter contains the findings and recommendations designed by the team to help improveoperational efficiencies and effectiveness of the Houston school
The Houston Independent School DistrictProcurement Services
The Houston Independent School District is the largest public school system in Texasand the seventh-largest in the United States. The school district operates 296 schools withapproximately 202,000 students, who are supported by almost 30,000 full- and part-timeemployees. The General Fund operating budget amounts to approximately $1.6 billionannually. The capital-facilities program of the district--included in the Capital RenovationFund--amounts to almost $1.1 billion with over $800 million from a 2007 bond issue, about
$150 million from ―
programs, and about $100 million from other capitalsources.
The Council‘s peer reviews are based on interviews of staff and others, a review of
materials provided by thedistrict, observations of operations, and the t
professional judgment. In conducting interviews the teamsmust rely on the willingness of those interviewed to be factual and forthcoming, but cannot always judge theaccuracy of statements made by interviewees.