From the NY Times:
City Comptroller William C. Thompson Jr. said on Wednesday that the Department of Education had vastly overspent on contracts for goods like photocopiers and cafeteria equipment, with one in five such contracts exceeding estimated costs by more than 25 percent.
In blistering testimony before the City Council’s Education Committee, Mr. Thompson, a candidate for mayor, said a review by his office had found that over the past two fiscal years, the sum of certain contracts had ballooned to $1 billion from initial estimates of $325 million. That includes one contract with Xerox Corporation that was initially projected at $1 million and came in at $68 million, he said.
“It is outrageous,” Mr. Thompson said at a news conference that seemed aimed at chipping away at the educational accomplishments that Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg is making a cornerstone of his re-election campaign. “To see this lack of accountability on contracts is frightening.”
From the Daily News:
The DOE spent about $726 million above estimate. About a third of the companies got the contracts with little or no competition, the report says.
A three-year technical equipment contract estimated at $17,650 ballooned to $26.8 million.
A six-year textbook contract that was supposed to total $15,000 shot up to $6.5 million.