The Board also did not sufficiently consider the reasons why it spent $8,000 on office equipment that it could have purchased for less, according to the audit, which highlighted Howle`s concern about isolated purchases. Finally, the Board could have saved money if it had had a more detailed definition of contract allocation in its contract manual, the auditor said. For example, Howle says, employees ignored justice policy when they signed two out of four orders without getting permission from management. In another case, a superior authorized at that time only to authorize purchases of up to 50,000 $US signed an order of more than US$345,000 for “network devices.” In reviewing the Board`s contracts and orders under $5,000 between July 2015 and June 2016, the Howles office found that the Board awarded a single supplier more than 20 contracts totalling approximately $50,000 for closed captioning services at its business meetings. Howle also recommended that the Council update its contractual manual to better define the distribution of contracts and purchases from exclusive sources which Hoshino believes must be approved by the Council of Justice. (3) Direct provision of telephone representation services by the Tribunal to a party. If the Tribunal provides the services directly, the Tribunal shall collect the telephone representation fees issued by the Council of Justice in accordance with Section 367.6 of the Code of Civil Procedure and the framework contract(s) concluded under this Section. A bailiff may, at his discretion, waive the costs of appearance by telephone of the parties who appear directly by telephone in the courtroom of this judicial officer. 1. An agreement with one or more of the suppliers under the framework contracts provided for in this Section. In her audit, California State Auditor Elaine Howle states that Council staff have generally complied with the Judicial Procurement Manual, but some discrepancies show that the Governing Body of the California Courts may not get the most out of its expenses. Howle recommended that the Commission train its staff to better adhere to the contract manual to ensure that payments are made with adequate authorization, to properly document the justification for non-competitive purchases, and not to exclude potential suppliers on the basis of price assumptions. (b) Any framework contract must contain: Hoshino stated that he agreed in principle with the public accountant`s recommendation to obtain the best value for the contracts, but disagreed with Howle`s conclusions in the case of a supplier excluded from the tendering procedure for a software contract because Commission staff felt that its prices were too expensive.
“We reviewed 60 purchases from fiscal years 2015-16 and 2016-17 and identified five cases in which the Justice Council did not follow the guidelines outlined in the Judicial Contracts Manual,” Howle wrote in his introductory letter. . . .