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City of Shreveport audit uncovers poor project management, ordin - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

City of Shreveport audit uncovers poor project management, ordinance violations

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Photo source: City of Shreveport Internal Auditor Photo source: City of Shreveport Internal Auditor
Photo source: City of Shreveport Internal Auditor Photo source: City of Shreveport Internal Auditor
Photo source: City of Shreveport Internal Auditor Photo source: City of Shreveport Internal Auditor
Photo source: City of Shreveport Internal Auditor Photo source: City of Shreveport Internal Auditor
SHREVEPORT, La. -

A new internal audit report for the City of Shreveport's Department of Engineering and Environmental Services is raising some eyebrows.

It's also raising some questions about how well the city is managing projects and millions in tax dollars.

In a report dated October 16th,2013, the City of Shreveport's internal auditor outlined ten findings, four of those described as high risk for the possibility of fraud, waste and abuse of city assets.

"Council just received the results of this audit last week so we're just going through it ourselves," says District D City Council Chairman Michael Corbin.

The audit states that the city paid more to complete a water main extension project than was necessary.

That project included a change order that added $22,000 to the cost, but the work was never completed.

"What we want to be sure is that all departments are following those guidelines and that we don't see major cost overruns on any project," says Corbin.

Department management responded in the audit, stating 'the project entitled East Preston 12" Water Main Extension was a project let out for bids with a clearly defined project scope and objective. However, in changing the installation method, the increasing of the boring method and reducing the open cut method, the new contract total would have resulted in a different low bidder.'

The report also highlights concerns that the city violated state bid laws when a 2010 Concrete Replacement Program exceeded the $150,000 contract limit.

The audit says a change order was issued for nearly $2 million, but was neither rebid nor renegotiated.

Corbin says this raises a couple of important questions.

"Were the proper procedures followed on that project or were just allowed to do change order after change order and increase the expenditures?"

Management for the department responded in the audit to this finding, stating, in part, 'the project entitled 2010 Citywide Concrete Panel Replacement Program was handled in accordance with all the applications of the Public Bid Law and was done in the best interest of the City.'

Additionally, the report claims the city hired a contractor for tree trimming services who was not properly licensed, and who then paid two other contractors to actually perform the work, a violation of city ordinances.

"If we see someone getting a large contract and maybe they don't meet all the qualifications, that's certainly a red flag," says Corbin.

The audit also points out that follow-up maintenance at various city work sites left much to be desired, and even created safety hazards.

Visits to the these sites showed deterioration, unsafe conditions, debris, and poor vegetation cover.

Audit photos show pooling in poorly graded areas that the report describes as "mosquito infested water."

The most serious of these photos show a broken guardrail, something the audit states could cause vehicle accidents.

The department states they'll develop policy and procedure, as well as a standard form, for follow-up on these sites.

A city official tells KTBS 3 News that the city will review the findings of the audit thoroughly and come up with an appropriate plan of action.

A call to the City Engineer was not returned.

The Divisions of Roadways & Bridges and Drainage, Floodplains & Private Development, under the direction of the City Engineer, are responsible for all design and construction activities on the streets, bridges and drainage facilities for the City.

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