Wednesday, February 10, 2010

SBOA Audit of Wilson Education Center Reveals Shocking Results in AEPA No-Bid Scandal

The State Board of Accounts released the results of a lengthy investigation into questionable practices at the Wilson Education Center and its involvement with the Association of Educational Purchasing Agencies (AEPA).

Many problems with potential legal consequences surfaced during the investigation, and I will be analyzing the audit findings over the next few days.

There are over 47 pages of data to analyze, but it's much worse than we originally thought. After reading through the documentation, there is absolutely no doubt that taxpayers were correct in their initial analysis that the no-bid scheme was illegal and that it was costing taxpayers mega bucks.

Perhaps the most startling news was the fact that the Wilson Education Center illegally initiated AEPA bid contracts and conducted official business without a quorum, which would in effect render all decisions to be null and void.

Contracts and contract extensions that were approved without a quorum being present were as follows:

Carpeting, Copiers, Roofing, Furniture, On-Line Training, Portable and Modular Buildings, Sports and Health Catalogs, Technology Catalogs, Office Supplies, Classroom Supplies, Web-Based Auction Services, Administrative Software, Food, Transportation, Professional Development, Facility Management Systems, Custodial Supplies, Athletic Equipment, Artificial Surfaces, Tracks and Courts, and Hardwood & Synthetic Flooring.

You can read the entire audit report at this link.

There's no doubt that the public trust has been broken. In light of this report, an appropriate course of action for the General Assembly to take would be to eliminate Educational Service Centers. Schools could do much better by negotiating their own discounts or, as was suggested by various legislators, to purchase through the State of Indiana.

The dedicated auditors at the State Board of Accounts should be commended for the fine work they have accomplished on behalf of Indiana taxpayers. The undertaking was monumental, and I am personally grateful to everyone involved.

Stay tuned...much more to come.

No comments: