CA auditors criticize $800K in state spending on contracts, millions for retirement bonuses


California auditors investigating dozens of whistleblower complaints against state agencies have found more than $800,000 in inappropriate expenditures and millions of dollars more that the state will wastefully spend unless it takes corrective action, according to a report released Thursday.

The investigations during the first half of 2020 substantiated nine allegations involving several state agencies, including the California Department of Veterans Affairs, where a senior executive or his designee improperly approved 10 emergency contracts that totaled nearly $628,000 under circumstances that did not qualify as emergencies.

“The most egregious example involved nearly $187,000 CalVet spent on renovations of two employee housing units for administrators,” the audit said.

The report did not identify those who approved and benefited from the renovations at the Yountville Veterans Home, but said the actions circumvented competitive bidding requirements aimed at saving taxpayer money. In response to the auditor’s findings, the secretary of CalVet admonished two senior executives through written memoranda to abide by state contracting procedures.

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