By Connie Llanos, Staff Writer | LA Daily News | http://bit.ly/cjol5D
11/10/2010 | Los Angeles Unified officials Tuesday voted to hold off on a series of new facilities consultant contracts, after a new inspector general report this week found irregularities in the handling of certain building contracts.
The school board deferred $11 million in change orders to building projects and $6million in consultant contracts for architects and engineers.
School board members said they could not approve the contracts after seeing the report by LAUSD Interim Inspector General Jess Womack, which they discussed during a closed door meeting Tuesday.
That report revealed a series of irregularities in the awarding of $65 million in contracts by facilities executives, including authorizing work that exceeded pre-approved amounts by nearly 50 percent.
"We will be examining change orders and contracts to ensure alignment with our commitments both to our LAUSD families and every taxpayer in Los Angeles," said board member Steve Zimmer.
The 54-page report also found facilities executives approving a larger number of vague "lump sum" task orders, and revealed that reductions in cost - promised to the school board - were reversed by shuffling contracts around and approving change orders.