City Wasting $5.6 Million, Audit Shows 

A long-awaited audit of the city's procurement services has revealed a potential $5.6 million in savings to the city, including at least $5.1 million in annual savings by using an online state procurement system.

Oddly, Richmond was the first registered user of the state procurement system, known as eVA, when it went live in 2005. But the city has since stopped using the system.

The state program allows localities to streamline buying and service contracts by picking from menu of pre-qualified vendors who must also compete to offer the lowest or best price. More than 660 state and local agencies including Henrico County already use the system.

Easy-to-use and "virtually free," the eVA system accounted for the bulk of the savings that City Auditor Umesh Dalal identified.

Sidestepping many of the report's findings, the city's Chief Financial Officer Harry Black indicated in his official response that "it is clear that many of your recommendations will require an expenditure of resources."

The report also found numerous weaknesses in the procurement department's methods to guard against fraud, among them a business-as-usual tendency to order goods or services before establishing a purchase order. He also notes a preponderance of emergency procurements.

"Procurement services provided a list of 38 emergency transactions in which the city procured $49 million or 15 [percent] of total citywide procurements," Dalal's report reads. "Further testing confirmed that this list was neither accurate nor complete."

Though not highlighted, or even considered in the audit, many of the payments for services resulting from the Sept. 21 attempted eviction of the Richmond School Board from City Hall relied on purchase orders created after the service was performed.

  • View the full audit

  • Favorite


    Subscribe to this thread:

    Add a comment

    Connect with Style Weekly

    Most Popular Stories

    • Palms on the Potomac

      Palms on the Potomac

      Our day trip series heads to charming Colonial Beach, a relaxed small town featuring the second-longest beach in Virginia.
      • Sep 7, 2021
    • Co-working Co-conspirators

      Co-working Co-conspirators

      Richmond’s first Black- and queer-owned co-working space is open for business.
      • Aug 31, 2021
    • Deciding Factors

      Deciding Factors

      A close governor’s race between two wealthy Virginia businessmen could set the tone for broader national elections, but this time it’s not business as usual.
      • Aug 24, 2021
    • How to Access Your Vax Record Online (from VDH)

      How to Access Your Vax Record Online (from VDH)

      Be careful and avoid scams online.
      • Aug 30, 2021
    • More »

    Copyright © 2021 Style Weekly
    Richmond's alternative for news, arts, culture and opinion
    All rights reserved
    Powered by Foundation