Saskatchewan’s provincial auditor says the Northern Lights School Division does not have effective processes in place for purchasing goods and services.

Judy Ferguson’s audit found “almost 90% of the tenders we tested, the Division did not document its evaluation of the suppliers using the selection criteria it established for the tenders. Without documenting supplier evaluations when tendering, the Division cannot support its supplier decisions and demonstrate achievement of best value for purchasing decisions.”

“In addition, for three of those seven purchases we tested, the items (e.g., computers, security services, janitorial supplies) purchased would have been available from various suppliers. The value of these purchases ranged from $138,000 to $218,000. Management could not explain why it needed these items immediately or why it did not consider alternative suppliers.”

The audit shows the school division was not giving suppliers enough time to respond to tender requests, thus limiting the number of proposals and decreasing the potential to receive the best contract for value.

Ferguson noted that the school division requires updated guidelines for fleet and credit card purchases.

“We found that the Division does not monitor receipt of the monthly travel logs for each of its passenger vans. In addition, staff do not agree or append individual fuel vehicle receipts to the monthly fleet card invoices. For two months, we reviewed all feet card statements and found staff did not retain receipts for over 60% of the transactions (144 receipts). The Division was not aware that staff had not submitted all of the receipts, as it requires.”

Yet Ferguson found the purchase cards were not being misused for inappropriate transactions, but helping staff understand appropriate transactions would guard against misuse.

(Photo by Kandis Riese. Courtesy of the Northern Lights School Division Facebook Page.)