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An Audit Report on Selected Contracting Functions at the Texas Education Agency

August 2021

Summary Analysis

The Texas Education Agency (Agency) has improved its administration of procurement and contract management functions since a prior audit report. The Agency generally followed all requirements for the planning, procurement, vendor selection, and formation phases; however, it should strengthen its controls to ensure that it fully complies with all requirements. Additionally, the Agency followed most management and oversight phase requirements.

When the COVID-19 pandemic began, the Agency quickly developed a process for disaster-related emergency procurements to provide online education solutions to assist Texas school districts.

The Agency should strengthen its processes to ensure that it complies with reporting requirements. The Agency should also ensure that it accurately and completely tracks contract data, and that it reviews controls to verify that they are working as intended.

 Jump to Overall Conclusion

The Agency had processes in place to ensure that it generally adhered to contract planning, procurement, vendor selection, and formation phase requirements. However, it should strengthen its policies to ensure that it complies with risk assessments during the planning phase, completes and reviews required forms during the vendor selection phase, and fully implements planned corrective actions for its amendment process in the formation phase.

Jump to Chapter 1 

The Agency ensured that it issued contract payments in compliance with applicable rules and adequately monitored and enforced the terms of its contracts. However, it did not always comply with its requirement to have a documented enhanced monitoring plan.

Jump to Chapter 2 

On March 13, 2020, the governor declared a disaster for the state of Texas related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Agency immediately began planning to procure contracts to address Texas school districts’ need for online education solutions. The disaster declaration suspended all state procurement requirements, and as a result, the Agency had to develop an accelerated procurement process.

Jump to Chapter 3 

The Agency should improve its processes for contracting functions that affect more than one phase of its contracting process, including (1) overall contract administration and (2) non-emergency and disaster-related emergency procurements. The Agency did not always ensure that contract reporting requirements were met or that contract data was accurately tracked. Additionally, the Agency did not always have documentation to show that required controls were working as intended. The Agency did ensure that procurement staff, contract managers, and other staff involved in the non-disaster-related procurement process attended required training and obtained required certifications.

Jump to Chapter 4 

Graphics, Media, Supporting documents

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