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HISD procurement audit

HISD procurement audit

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Published by: enm077486 on Mar 29, 2012
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3411 Richmond
Suite 500
Houston, TX 77046
(P) 713.621.1515
(F) 713.621.1570www.null-lairson.com
 March 29, 2012Board of Education and Board Audit Committee,Houston Independent School District4400 West 18th StreetHouston, TX 77092This report reflects the results of our performance audit related to Houston Independent School District’s (HISD) contract recommendation awardsprocess. The objective of our performance audit was to assess adherence to policies, established procurement control processes, and all statutoryprocurement requirements regarding HISD’s contract recommendation awards process for the period from July 1, 2010 through September 16,2011. Our performance audit was conducted in accordance with the standards for performance audits contained in
Government AuditingStandards,
issued by the Comptroller General of the United States. Complete report requirements are contained in the
to this report.KEY FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONSBoard Policy Issues
Most board members indicated that they did not totally understand all the requirements of conflict of interest and ethics policies.
Werecommend that steps be taken to provide expanded discussion and training on existing conflict of interest and related procurement policiesaffecting board members to board members on at least an annual basis.
Existing board policies on conflict of interest and related procurement policies affecting board members are quite stringent and makecompliance for board members very difficult.
As a result, HISD staff spends quite a bit of time in monitoring these policy requirements. Werecommend that steps be taken to simplify these policies, including internal staff policies related to monitoring and activities of procurementevaluation staff.
 Houston Independent School District Performance audit related to Houston ISD’s contract recommendation awards process
 Null Lairson, P.C. 2
Procurement compliance issues
HISD procurement activities are decentralized and subject to different levels of control within the organization.
As a result, there areinconsistencies in procurement handling and especially procurement file documentation. We recommend that internal initiatives that began in thelate fall of 2011 continue and that Procurement be involved on all purchases in some manner, even those that are being handled in other functionalareas.
HISD lacks procedures or policies to allow it to determine if there is a “benefit” of interest rather than a “conflict”
. This is especially thecase when board members are working specifically within their district. We recommend that board members communicate the extent of this typeof assistance from existing vendors to the superintendent and that Procurement evaluate exposing these services to market competition.All of our findings are enumerated in the body of our report following. We appreciate the opportunity to work with Houston ISD on this projectand wish to extend our thanks for the cooperation and assistance provided by district board members, former superintendents, and staff during thecourse of the project.Sincerely,
 Null Lairson, P.C.
 Houston Independent School District Performance audit related to Houston ISD’s contract recommendation awards process
 Null Lairson, P.C. 3
Table of ContentsSection Page NumberBackground and Objectives 4Key Work Steps 9Findings and Recommendations 9Appendix -
Government Auditing Standards
report information 23

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