Los Angeles City Controller Wendy Greuel reports that the city government paid 77 percent more than other cities across the country for common auto, janitorial and office supplies, meaning taxpayers paid approximately $700,000 more than necessary for the items.
The audit examined purchases of brakes, rotors, motor oil, tires, janitorial uniforms, electrical supplies and copy paper. Auditors found that the city sometimes purchased name-brand items when less-expensive items of similar quality were available, and that it drove up costs by requiring contracts to deliver purchases within two days, regardless of whether the items were needed right away.
Ms. Greuel noted that the items included in the audit account for just a small portion of the $460 million in supply purchases made by the city from more than 500 contractors.
"What's clear is that the city does not always obtain the best price for goods, which ultimately impacts the city's bottom line and wastes taxpayer dollars," Ms. Greuel said. (Source: Los Angeles Daily News, March 21.)