OLYMPIA – Bridgeport School District’s spending procedure for a federal school improvement grant was lacking, the Washington State Auditor’s Office said in a finding.

The audit report, issued March 30, looked at district finances from Sept. 1, 2015, through Aug. 31, 2016.

During that time, the district “did not have adequate internal controls to ensure compliance with procurement requirements” for a school improvement grant, the report said. No dollar amount was in question.

The district spent $189,875 under its school improvement grant efforts to improve teacher quality, according to the audit report. The grant provided financial resources to local education agencies that demonstrate the greatest needs for the funds.

According to the auditor’s office, the district was required to use a competitive process to procure goods and services to ensure it received the best price for purchases exceeding $3,500. It was allowed to declare a contractor as the sole source of supply, provided certain conditions were met.

Before ratifying the contract, it had to document how the decision was made.

“The district had policies and procedures in place over federal procurement,” said the report. “However, our audit found the district paid a contractor $29,941 for the purchase of an online training service to provide professional development to staff. The district did not use a competitive method to procure the purchase as required by federal regulations, and did not document procedures taken to declare a sole source exception.”

The report said the granting agency notified the district of the contractor’s services, “therefore the district did not believe that a competitive process for the purchase was required.”

In its response, the district said it concurs with the audit finding. The special programs director and business manager will attend additional uniform grant guidance trainings.

“Internal controls will be updated to ensure procurement of goods and services, including those declared as sole source exceptions, comply with federal regulations,” the district said.

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