No More Band-Aids
Interim PGCPS CEO Dr. Monica Goldson Issues Statement About Recent Schools Audit
Dear Prince George’s County Public Schools Community,
As many of you are aware, a recent review by the state Office of Legislative Audits identified a number of weaknesses in our financial management practices, covering July 1, 2015 to July 31, 2017.
Several issues raised in the audits go back almost 20 years to the early 2000s. While my team has taken important steps to correct long-standing challenges, this most recent report signals a need for deeper and more comprehensive changes across the school system. As an organization, we have too often used band-aids to fix broken bones, attempting to resolve complex issues with the simplest solution. This approach has compounded issues and allowed serious problems to manifest for decades. We can no longer operate in this manner.
Working in collaboration with the Board of Education, I plan to implement immediate changes that will help address these longstanding problems. These changes are designed to correct our problems today and provide a path forward to a stronger PGCPS for the future.
First, I request the Office of Legislative Audits, through the Board of Education’s Internal Audit, provide identifying details regarding the 13 sole-sourced contracts referenced in the audit. Once we have this information, I am requesting an external forensic audit to uncover any ethical violations or potential criminal wrongdoing. If any such actions took place, PGCPS will take the necessary action to refer cases to law enforcement or other agencies for additional review.
Second, I am directing our Chief Operations Officer to issue a request for proposal to move the PGCPS Office of Procurement to outside control until we effectively resolve our administrative processes and procedures around contracting. This is not intended to punish the hard-working team within our procurement department. Working with our labor partners, we hope to provide the team with clear guidelines and stable leadership for the first time in over 15 years.
By taking these actions, we can implement long-term solutions to our ongoing contracting issues. Transparency and accountability will continue to be our guideposts as we seek to regain your trust.
Monica E. Goldson, Ed.D.
Interim Chief Executive Officer
Prince George's County Public Schools