JEFFERSON CITY, Mo (Sept. 20, 2018) Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway today released the first in a series of audit reports of the City of St. Louis focusing on the city's Supply Division. The audit found the division can do more to ensure taxpayer dollars are spent efficiently on purchases for city departments.
"Simple steps like competitive bidding and proper documentation can save thousands and ensure the very best deal for taxpayers," Auditor Galloway said. "I'm pleased to see that efforts to address these concerns are already underway and encourage other city departments to work with the Supply Division on these changes."
The city has a process to ensure purchases can be made quickly during an emergency. The audit reviewed recent purchases and some did not meet the city's definition of emergency. In order to prevent city departments from using emergency purchases to circumvent normal purchasing procedures, the report recommended processes to provide additional scrutiny and proper approval of these requests. In addition, despite a policy requiring competitive bidding for emergency purchases exceeding $500 when feasible, price quotes or bids were not documented in most cases.
The report also detailed a situation in which a vendor was permitted to increase average prices by 23 percent without rebidding and found the Supply Division does not always verify that city departments are getting accurate pricing for items purchased under city contracts. The report also found the division does not consistently advertise bid solicitations for the required period of time.
In response to the audit, the Supply Division officials indicated they are working to implement all of the recommendations.
As a part of the comprehensive, independent audit of the City of St. Louis, Auditor Galloway will be releasing a series of reports addressing every city office and department. For more information on the ongoing audit of the city, visit auditor.mo.gov/STLAudit.
The audit of the City of St. Louis Supply Division, which received an overall rating of good, can be found here.