DeKalb Schools recently completed a cursory assessment of its procurement process. It indicated that ethics and integrity in the procurement process is practically non existent. For over two months, the school district withheld this report from the public. Finally, the district made a course correction and released the report. Here’s the link so you can read it for yourself.
Based on this initial review of the district’s procurement processes (or lack thereof), I’m calling for the creation of the following positions:
* Independent ethics officer
* Independent internal auditor
I am also calling for a review of all current contracts and an in-depth fraud investigation by an outside expert.
Richard Belcher with WSB has been looking into DeKalb School’s procurement for months. He posted DeKalb Schools employees accept travel, meals from companies on Monday where he enlisted the aid of a previous federal agent and fraud examiner to assess DeKalb Schools’ procurement assessment.
The federal agent is positive there is fraud at DeKalb Schools citing the procurement assessment that revealed vendors are paying school employees. The procurement assessment says, “it is widely known that certain types of vendors host conferences and fairs, and often will pay for District employees to attend those conferences or pay staff to be involved in those conferences and trade events.”
The federal agent recommended the following questions be asked of vendors currently doing business with the district:
Does the company do any work with school employees?
Does the company do a vast majority of its work with DeKalb alone?
He also recommended to spot check various vendors and drive to the physical location of the vendor’s office.
Dr. Stephen Green
Superintendent, DeKalb County School District