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State audits of Health Sciences Charter School and King Center Charter School found that procurement policies at one school were weak and that officials at the other were not routinely following the purchasing policy.

Leaders at the two schools in Buffalo agreed with most of the recommendations from the audits by the State Comptroller’s Office, which were released last week, and said they have taken corrective action already or will soon.

The King Center audit covered July 1, 2011, to July 12, 2013, to determine whether goods and services were bought at the lowest cost and desired quality.

Disbursement records totaling more than $1.8 million showed that school leaders often did not document verbal or written price quotes – for instance, spending $11,346 on computers without showing they shopped around for the best deal.

Auditors determined that weaknesses in the purchasing process expose the school to the risk of paying more than necessary for goods and services. Recommendations direct the King Center board to make sure that school officials get price quotes and maintain the documentation, and that the board approve all amendments and change orders to contracts.

At the Health Sciences Charter School, auditors found that weak procurement procedures resulted in unauthorized purchases not being detected and uncertainty over whether various payments were made within contractual agreements.

In two instances, no contracts were available for services totaling $39,461, and the school may have paid for overlapping services, auditors found.

The Comptroller’s Office recommended that Health Sciences adopt comprehensive procurement policies and that trustees and school management periodically monitor procurement. The audit concluded that the school’s business office also needs to document purchases better and maintain a log identifying the cost and nature of services.

To view full copies of the audit reports, visit www.buffalonews.com.

email: dswilliams@buffnews.com