- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 14, 2014

THIBODAUX, La. (AP) - A state audit finds the Lafourche Parish School Board failed to follow federal regulations in seeking public bids on $150,000 in services and supplies.

The audit said federal money was used to purchase special education curriculum software in all parish schools, but the school district didn’t take bids every two years as required.

Board Business Manager Don Gaudet tells The Courier (https://bit.ly/1gEwYNl ) the school board didn’t advertise for public bidding because it wasn’t aware of the requirement when using federal money.

“All they marked us for is that we did not evaluate better offers, and if you use federal funds you have to advertise for bids every two or three years,” Gaudet said.

“We’ve been doing a lot of work in improving our purchasing, and this is one thing that we haven’t worked on yet. But we’re now putting that in our protocol,” he said.

The board was also given a recommendation to monitor its $9.5 million health insurance fund that finances employees’ health care costs. That amount may be considered excessive, said Joy Erwin, director of local government services for the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s Office.

“With this particular school board, the auditor is saying that $9.5 million may be too much money and they need to re-evaluate the assumptions they’re using to get to that number,” Erwin said.

“If they are retaining too much of that money, it’s the auditor’s responsibility to tell the government and that’s what they’re doing.”

The audit recommends steps be taken to reduce the fund or to not increase health insurance costs for employees.


Information from: The Courier, https://www.houmatoday.com

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