Broken Arrow School Audit Report Released

Friday, January 30th 2009, 8:03 am
By: News On 6

News On 6

BROKEN ARROW, OK -- A financial audit released late Thursday night found the Broken Arrow School District did not strictly follow competitive bidding laws.

The audit also looked into the school district's controversial relationship with a local heating and cooling company, Air Assurance.

The Broken Arrow School Board released the results of the financial audit, after an almost two-hour closed-door meeting.

Read the audit report.

The school board requested the audit last October, after allegations surfaced about its relationship with Air Assurance.  A group of taxpayers accused the company of ducking competitive bidding laws and overcharging the district.  The group wants the school board to sue to recover money the group believes was squandered.

Air Assurance's owner held a rally last week denying the allegations, claiming his business won the 2007-2008 maintenance contract by being the low bidder.

The auditors seemed to disagree stating, "We did not observe, services by Air Assurance were bid in strict compliance to the Oklahoma Competitive Bidding Act."

Broken Arrow School Superintendent Dr. Gary Gerber talked with the News On 6 after the audit report was released.

"That's something we're going to have to study and see what that actually means. And also have our attorneys look at that and see what they think it actually means. Until we get that I can't really comment on it," said Dr. Gary Gerber.

Watch more of the interview with Dr. Gary Gerber.

The audit pointed out several gaps in the Broken Arrow School District's record keeping, noting the district didn't even keep copies of the quotes for the maintenance work.   In at least one case, the flagpole at the BA Education Service Center was billed and paid for two months before the work was completed.

Dr. Gerber said it was likely human error.  But Dr. Gerber also said the school district will study the audit and look at ways of to improve.

The school district is also asking for a state audit.

Related story: Dr Jim Sisney-Broken Arrow School Board Timeline