Audit: Tire vendor provided substandard retreads to state

Posted October 30, 2014 6:24 p.m. EDT
Updated October 30, 2014 6:52 p.m. EDT

— Lax oversight from state purchasing agents led to a tire company providing "substandard" retreads to the state Department of Transportation in recent years, according to an audit released Thursday.

The state Division of Purchase and Contract didn't follow its own bidding procedures, allowing Wilson-based White's Tires to raise its prices 30 percent and provide $89,000 worth of retread tires to DOT that didn't meet specifications because a contract wasn't in place between November 2012 and July 2013, state auditors said.

Auditors also said the purchasing agency didn't monitor White's Tires to learn of the substandard tires, improperly leaving it up to DOT to check whether the tires met specifications.

Secretary of Administration Bill Daughtridge, who oversees purchasing, said the agency has been overhauled in recent months, with 23 of the 38 employees being replaced. Contract administration procedures have been updated, and communication has been improved with other state agencies to determine whether there are problems any products or services.

This is the second state audit in eight years targeting White's Tires. In 2006, auditors accused the company of taking advantage of a contract clause to squeeze more than $1 million from the state.