Monday, June 14, 2010

Seattle Lacks Controls Over Blanket Contracts

The Washington State Auditor's Office has issued a finding that the City of Seattle lacks internal controls over the use of four blanket contracts for the design and installation of a security system.   

Contract Use for Work Not Originally Identified:  The Auditor criticized the City for using the blanket contracts for separate public works projects that were not identified or contemplated in 2004 when the request for proposals was issued.  The audit singled out two fences built by Seattle City Light at a cost of $1 million as an example of work being performed that was not included in the original request for proposals.  

The audit report noted that work performed but not included in the original contract did not provide the City with assurances that the contractor would be qualified to perform the work, nor that the City would obtain competitive prices.

Previous Waiver Not Valid:  According to the audit, "the City believed a 2004 waiver of competitive purchase requirements for the security system was sufficient to waive competitive procurement for all subsequent related work." 

City's Response:  The City's response to the audit noted a number of steps they are taking to help manage such blanket contracts more effectively in the future.

Audit Report:  To read the audit report, click here.

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