US broadcaster ‘broke procurement rules’

24 March 2010

24 March 2010 | Jake Kanter 

A US state broadcaster has been accused of flouting purchasing regulations.

An audit report, by the Department of Legislative Services in the state of Maryland, found Maryland Public Broadcasting Commission (MPBC) made payments totalling $1 million (£667.6 million) to a single supplier without competition, a written contract, or appropriate approval.

The payments for marketing and fundraising services between 2005 and 2007 broke state procurement rules, the report said.

It added that the bid evaluation and award processes were not adequately documented on a later deal for the same services with the same supplier. Furthermore, the contract was not managed effectively and the report said MPBC paid “unsupported” invoices totalling $68,000 (£45,400) to the vendor.

The supplier was not named in the report, but was contracted to market MPBC to potential donors and support fundraising among the broadcaster’s members.

Maryland auditor Bruce Myers called on MPBC to ensure future purchases comply with state rules, including drawing up written contracts and monitoring supplier performance.

In a response published in the report, MPBC said it acted properly and insisted it worked under the guidance of state departments to carry out an “extensive competitive bid process”. The broadcaster, however, said it would comply with the auditor’s recommendations.

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