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State Audit Uncovers DOT Purchasing Irregularities

A recent audit has uncovered irregularities within the state Department of Transportation.

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RALEIGH, N.C. — An audit has uncovered irregularities within the state Department of Transportation, resulting in overpayment for office supplies.

The state Auditor's Office said it learned that the DOT's Materials and Test Unit violated purchasing policies by purchasing office supplies from a vendor not listed on the state term contract for office supplies by misclassifying data processing equipment as office supplies.

Officials identified 595 purchases from the vendor, totaling more than $175,000 between April 1, 2003, and Aug. 15, 2006, of which $93,483 originated from the Materials and Test Unit.

The audit also states DOT officials paid more for office supplies than what would have been paid to vendors under the terms of the contract. In a random sampling of items, auditors found the state was charged $3,680 more than if the office supplies were purchased from term contract vendors.

The Materials and Test supervisor told auditors that he did business with the vendor because its ordering process was easy and expedient. He also admitted knowing the vendor's president, treasurer and two other employees.

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