Determine whether Dutchess Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) officials monitored electricity rates to ensure they were at the lowest possible cost and ensured that invoices for electricity usage were accurate.
BOCES officials did not monitor electricity rates to ensure they were at the lowest possible cost or ensure that invoices for electricity usage were accurate. Had officials monitored the electricity rates and ensured the utility bills were accurate, officials may have reduced BOCES electricity supply expenses by almost 50 percent, or approximately $172,000, during the 28-month audit period. Specifically, BOCES officials:
- Continued using an energy service company (supplier) after contract expiration, resulting in BOCES paying a higher per kilowatt-hour (kWh) rate than if it had contracted with the supplier awarded the new bid through a competitive process or the local utility company (LUC), which could have saved BOCES approximately $85,000 during July 2021 through October 2022.
- Did not detect billing discrepancies in the invoices for electricity supplied and paid duplicate charges totaling $86,958.
- Monitor the electricity supply contract and seek periodic competition to ensure rates are at the lowest possible cost.
- Conduct a deliberate and thorough audit of electricity supply and delivery invoices prior to payment.
BOCES officials generally agreed with our recommendations and indicated they plan to initiate correction action.