Audit of Los Angeles district says problems in construction program have improved

Oct. 28, 2010
Before 2006, district’s building program was plagued by conflicts of interest

From The Los Angeles Times: The Los Angeles Unified School District’s $20 billion school construction program was rife with conflicts of interest, but most problems were eliminated after 2006, according to an independent audit. The review was conducted by the office of City Controller Wendy Greuel and was commissioned by the school system after the March indictment of a senior facilities manager. Bassam Raslan had allegedly funneled business from the school-building pjrogram to a company he co-owned. The district has relied heavily on contractors to supervise projects, defending the practice as a way to attract high-quality workers while providing flexibility to increase or reduce their numbers as needed. The audit, which examined records dating to 2002, found 225 instances in which hiring panels included people from the same company as the applicant. Eighty hires were made without using the required panels at all.

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