Friday, September 21, 2007

Thompson: Council Broke Multiple Rules Under Miller

Daily News Blog, September 21, 2007
Comptroller Bill Thompson released an audit of Council purchasing from July 1, 2004 to June 30, 2005 (during ex-Speaker Gifford Miller’s tenure) that found the Council violated the city charter, its own rules and Procurement Policy Board rules, including spending $1.67 million on printing without entering into formal contracts.

“Instead of awarding a printing contract through competition, the Council intentionally split printing orders or made several small purchases for individual members to prevent the total from reaching the $5,000 threshold for competition,” Thompson said.
It’s a little bit techincal, but here’s the upshot, from Thompson’s report:

In general, the City Charter and the PPB rules require that contracts be awarded through competition. Instead?ith the exception of three purchases totaling $35,470?he Council split printing orders or made several small purchases by individual Council members to prevent the total from reaching the $5,000 threshold for small purchases above which would have required the solicitation of bids from five vendors or a full public procurement.
The Council also:

- Let permitted affiliated companies to submit competing bids against each other for the same proposa.

- Used miscellaneous vouchers for all Member purchases and ?hared?expenditures, totaling $3.49 million, violating a Comptroller’s directive.

- Broke Council and PPB rules when making OTPS expenditures from its Central Office by not obtaining bids on purchases that exceeded $500 (Council rules) and $5,000 (PPB rules).

- Did not use requirement contracts in 22 instances when procuring various items totaling $14,232.

- Made improper and questionable payments, totaling $54,939.

- Made improper and questionable imprest fund payments, totaling $2,837.

During the 2005 mayor’s race, questions were raised about Miller’s use of in-house mailings. He defended the practice - which, it should be noted, is a routinely engaged in endeavor - as legal.

UPDATE: Thompson spokesman Jeff Simmons said no evidence of criminality was found in the audit, and thus it was not forwarded to DOI. (Yes, that’s fixed. Writing too fast. Sorry).

No comments: