in Houston, Texas
Bill for Houston ISD's procurement performance audit: Just under $16,000
Thursday, Feb 09, 2012, 10:24AM CST
By Mike Cronin

The cost of October’s performance audit by a national education nonprofit of the Houston school system’s way of buying goods and services is about $16,000, district officials say.

The Council of the Great City Schools, based in Washington, D.C., has delivered a bill of $15,807.06, said Jason Spencer, a spokesman for the Houston Independent School District.

That is less than the roughly $22,000 the council charged HISD in 2010 for its review of the district’s capital facilities program.

But it’s still pricier than what Superintendent Terry Grier told the public in August that the council procurement audit would cost, which was: zero.

Spencer provided the council-audit cost breakdown for the six auditors who traveled to HISD and stayed three nights in a hotel with a $109 room rate.
  • Hotel: $2,217.06
  • Airfare, meals, and out-of-pocket expenses: $5,513.96
  • Honorarium (report/writer’s fees): $4,860
  • Council administrative fee: $3,216.04
A Houston accounting firm, Null-Lairson, also is conducting an audit of HISD’s purchasing processes. That should be completed during the upcoming weeks, school board President Mike Lunceford and Spencer have said.

HISD trustees in October approved paying Null-Lairson up to $87,500 for that audit.

Some district parents have complained that district officials have wasted taxpayer money by paying two separate organizations to audit the same thing.


Contact Mike Cronin at or 713-228-2850. Follow him on Twitter at @michaelccronin or @texaswatchdog.

Photo of money by flickr user 401K, used under a Creative Commons license. 

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