Nine of 21 school districts surveyed didn't allow companies to compete in a fair and open environment when it came to school construction projects exceeding $80,000, according to an audit released Tuesday by the State Office of the Legislative Auditor General.
The lack of competition can be attributed to the following practices: not bidding each new project, maintaining the same architectural firm for multiple years, accepting dated prequalified firms and bundling dissimilar projects.
The audit also discovered four school districts should have had greater involvement and oversight for the procurement of subcontractors. The audit found some districts' decision-making matrix was not well defined or equally applied.
Further, some school districts' selection committees for architect and construction manager or general contractor consisted mostly of school board members and not people qualified in either architecture nor engineering.
The audit did not name specific districts.
Amy K. Stewart
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