Development Authority of the North Country

Board Governance, Procurement and Disbursement Practices

The Development Authority of the North Country operates a solid waste management facility, a water/sewer facility, and a fiber-optic network that serve the United States Army base at Fort Drum and customers in the surrounding counties. We identified several weaknesses in the Authority’s procurement and disbursement practices. For example, written support for purchases was sometimes missing, review and approval to authorize purchases was not always documented, contracts were not always used when required, sole source and emergency procurements were not always justified in writing, and credit card records were incomplete.

The Authority also significantly changed the scope of a multi-million dollar construction project after most of the 24 firms expressing interest in the project had either declined to bid or had their bids rejected. To foster competition and ensure all qualified vendors had a chance to obtain Authority business, the Authority should have offered all 24 firms an opportunity to bid on the revised project. However, the Authority simply awarded the contract for the revised project to one of the three remaining bidders. We noted that the Authority did not establish a formal procurement and disbursement policy until 2005. We recommended the Authority’s internal controls be significantly strengthened.

For a complete copy of Report 2005-S-34 click here.
For a copy of the associated follow-up report click here.