DC Inspector General Launches Investigation into DCPS Contract – NBC4 Washington

The Washington, D.C. Council is trying to figure out how vendors were getting paid in contracts for 36 unsanctioned D.C. Public Schools, but News 4’s I-Team says the council is currently investigating this mess. He admitted that he established a company that

The I-Team confirmed that the DC Inspector General is investigating as well. Depending on the OIG’s findings, DCPS personnel may face disciplinary action, up to and including termination, and some may face criminal charges. Some of the special education contracts are subject to federal law, so he could be sentenced to two years in prison for violating them.

DCPS did not respond to the I-Team’s request for comment on the OIG investigation.

The question began in February when DCPS tried to get a restaurant service contract approved even though the payment had already been made. Contracts over $1 million must be approved by the Council before funds are disbursed. DCPS has since found 36 such contracts.

At the same time as the OIG is investigating, the DC Council is considering stripping DCPS of its independent contract-making powers. At a hearing on Thursday morning, DCPS Prime Minister Luis Ferreby told MP Brianne Nadeau that DCPS was responsible for the contractual error.

Mr. Nadeau and Chairman Phil Mendelsohn introduced a bill to give DCPS contract management to the DC Contracts and Procurement Office.

Felby said at the hearing that he took “full responsibility” for the mistake but wanted DCPS to maintain control.

In his testimony, Ferebee told Congress, “DCPS fully respects the role of Congress’ approval in the contract review process, and on behalf of the district, DCPS submits the contract for approval.” We sincerely apologize for not complying with the requirement to do so.” it was not accepted. I take this matter very seriously and am fully committed to completely revising our processes going forward…Over the past few months we have worked urgently to completely review our contracting practices. rice field. “

He said it was “important” for DCPS to maintain contracting authority.

During interrogation, Mr. Ferebee and the DCPS told commission members:

  • He has initiated a “overhaul” of the contracting process, including hiring ministerial-level staff to oversee the DCPS’s financial operations and lead a new Fiscal Strategy Office.
  • Nine of the twenty-one posts in the DCPS Procurement Office are currently vacant.
  • Until recently, DCPS kept contracts in paper form, including one special education contract worth $7.5 million, which is now missing.
  • The DCPS system does not have a “checkbox” to indicate that the contract has been approved by the Council.

After initially saying nothing about who or how many staff members had been punished in the ongoing investigation, Mr. Ferebee eventually confirmed that the four people involved in the deal “are no longer at DCPS.” . Felby wouldn’t say who they were, what their position was, what the discipline was, if anyone had been fired or when the investigation would end. As for the schedule, he only said it will be completed this summer. If compelled, Mr. Ferebee said he would have DCPS general counsel respond to the council.

DCPS did not respond to I-Team’s questions about staff discipline.

After the hearing, a parliamentary secretariat spokesperson criticized the prime minister’s remarks on discipline as “evasive.”

A second council hearing is scheduled for May 30 to investigate how the deal slipped through the process.

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