Report 2016-139 Recommendation 8 Responses
Report 2016-139: California Department of Education: It Has Not Ensured That School Food Authorities Comply With the Federal Buy American Requirement (Release Date: July 2017)
Recommendation #8 To: Los Angeles Unified School District
To help ensure that they consistently comply with the Buy American requirement, Los Angeles should establish written policies and procedures related to the Buy American requirement by October 1, 2017. At a minimum, those policies and procedures should include the following:
- An explanation of how it will ensure that it consistently includes language related to the Buy American requirement in its bid solicitation documents and contracts.
- A minimum expectation for how regularly it will verify that food items its vendors provide are domestic commodities or products.
- A requirement that its staff identify the need to purchase foreign-sourced items as early as possible in the food purchasing process and that they begin documenting the justification for such exceptions to the Buy American requirement at that time.
- Guidance for how it will maintain documentation showing that its purchases of foreign-sourced food items meet one of the two allowable exceptions.
6-Month Agency Response
On December 19, 2017, the Los Angeles Unified School District (District) received a response from the State Auditor's Office that SOP No. P-1077 did not adequately address the recommendation of how regularly the District will verify that food items provided by vendors are domestic commodities or products. SOP No. P-1077 was updated on January 24, 2018 to specify that the country of origin is verified for each delivery of perishable foods and include the procedures to follow if the country of origin is missing.
- Completion Date: May 2017
- Response Date: January 2018
California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Fully Implemented
60-Day Agency Response
Los Angeles Unified School District has revised the Buy American Provision for USDA Meal Programs' Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) #P-1077, to ensure that the "Buy American" Provision is incorporated into the templates used for Invitations for Bids (IFBs) and Requests for Proposals (RFPs) of perishable and shelf-stable groceries. The revised SOP includes details of the procedures to be followed when awarding or amending contracts and/or purchase orders that include foreign products as well as the receiving process to check various product details that includes Country of Origin. Also, the revision includes the procedure by which new and/or substitute foreign grown/manufactured products are procured via a contract amendment after approval by the Director of Food Services or his/her designee.
- Completion Date: May 2017
- Response Date: September 2017
California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Partially Implemented
Los Angeles's written procedures identify how it will ensure it includes language related to the Buy American requirement in its bid solicitation documents and contracts, that staff should identify the need for foreign-sourced items early in the procurement process, and how it will maintain documentation showing that its purchases of foreign-sourced items meet the allowable exceptions to the Buy American requirement. However, its procedures do not include a minimum expectation for how regularly it will verify that food items its vendors provide are domestic commodities or products.
- Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation
Agency responses received are posted verbatim.