News Statement on Audit of Food Services Division

July 15, 2015
From L.A. Unified Superintendent Ramon C. Cortines and Thelma Meléndez de Santa Ana, CEO, Office of Educational Services: 
In response to the Food Services Division audit released today by the Office of Inspector General (IG), the Los Angeles Unified School District has tightened fiscal controls and oversight of spending.

The IG’s report found inappropriate spending, mismanagement, contractual issues and ethical breaches. Of particular concern was the lax oversight of a marketing fund established in partnership with major food service vendors. As a result, the District has ended all vendor-funded marketing programs such as the hiring of outside public relations firms.

Other changes include:

• Stringent supervision of Food Services leadership regarding decision-making and spending.

• A dedicated Food Procurement Team to improve oversight of purchasing, expenditures and new menu additions.

• A return to the use of a competitive bidding process to ensure the lowest price.

• Priority use of food donated by the federal government to reduce outside purchases.

• More clearly defined processes and procedures for new menu items.

The District take these findings very seriously. We have advised the Board of Education of these reforms, and will continue to provide updates.
Contact: Shannon Haber (213) 241-6766