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Audit: State Making Questionable Buys

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California´s failure to stick by state guidelines when purchasing goods and services may have cost state taxpayers millions of dollars. That´s the conclusion drawn in an audit released today. The audit looks at numerous cases in which state departments failed to shop around to find the best deal.

In one case, the Department of Motor Vehicles improperly declared an emergency to buy $125,000 in teddy bears to be handed out to Census 2000 participants. The audit was sparked by a state probe last year into the no-bid, $95 million contract with Oracle. That contract was later rescinded amid questions of political influence.

The audit points to shortcuts, lax oversight and poor documentation that led to state departments making millions in questionable purchases.