LOS ANGELES UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT
Office of the Superintendent
|TO: Ramon C. Cortines ,
Superintendent of Schools
FROM: Bill Siart , Senior Advisor to the Superintendent
DATE: March 30, 2009
SUBJECT: AUDIT OF THE USE OF FACILITIES SERVICES CONSULTANTS
After reviewing the Contract Audit Report and following up with Roberta Fesler and Guy Mehula, I have the following conclusions/recommendations:
1. The use of outside contractors during 2006-07 was appropriate
2. The report provides recommendations that should be implemented
3. Facilities Services should develop a clear strategy for the future
1. Cost of 2006-07 Consultants - During the time period of 2001-07, it would have been extremely difficult for the Facilities team to recruit, hire and train a specialized team to complete the construction of 167,000 new seats by 2013. During this time period, Los Angeles was experiencing a construction boom and the LAUSD Facilities Division did not have the reputation as an employer of choice. Given the high demand for talent at the time, it is reasonable that the Facilities Division needed to pay a premium for some contracted positions.
On a side note, it is important to point out that the funding used for these consultants could only be used for facilities. The LAUSD was not jeopardizing any other programs (e.g. teachers) to support its construction activities. In order to ensure that all students have the opportunity to attend a school that is on a traditional school calendar as soon as possible, it is understandable that the Facilities Division leveraged consultants.
2. Recommendations – I would encourage the Facilities Division to continue to implement the recommendations highlighted in the report by the Inspector General. The recommendations will help ensure the Facilities Services Division in maximizing funding to deliver high quality services to schools. Given the changes in the economy the LAUSD should be in a good position to renegotiate its consultant rates. In addition, it is my understanding that the Facilities Division has updated its policies and procedures to address some of the concerns that were highlighted in the report. The implementation and impact of these changes should be clearly presented to the Bond Oversight Committee on a regular basis.
3. Strategic Vision - The District must continue to implement a new strategic vision for building seats over the next 10 years, with the remainder of the existing Board funds, and the new Measure Q money. The revised Strategy should be presented to the Bond Oversight Committee as well.
Please feel free to contact me if you would like to discuss this in more detail.
c: Members, Board of Education