By Teresa Watanabe
The Los Angeles school district’s massive food services program is riddled with mismanagement, inappropriate spending and ethical breaches, according to an internal audit released Wednesday.
The 33-page audit by the district’s Office of the Inspector General reviewed L.A. Unified’s revamped food procurement system, which was introduced five years ago to supply the nation's second-largest school food operation. Eight major vendors were awarded $750 million in food contracts spread over five years.
Under the new system, auditors found increased food prices, bloated inventories, incompatible computer systems to order food, a “haphazard” menu development process and insufficient controls over spending. The audit also found increased meal participation and greater innovation and flexibility.