Statement from the Dallas ISD Board of Trustees on the Resignation of Internal Chief Auditor

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The Dallas ISD Board of Trustees acknowledges and accepts the resignation delivered today from Chief Auditor Otis Steven Martin.

We cannot comment on the personal motivations of Mr. Martin for this decision.  Mr. Martin became the Chief of Internal Audit in January 2019 and reported solely to the Board, which has sole authority over the Internal Audit function.

More than two years ago and prior to Mr. Martin’s hiring, the district discovered potential overpayments made by the District to outside vendors for construction projects completed in 2015 and 2016.

When these potential overpayments were discovered more than two years ago, the Board of Trustees and the Superintendent made sweeping changes that included the dissolution of the Capital Improvement Department that oversaw these transactions, a peer review of the Purchasing Department, the formation of a Procurement Compliance Committee to review and bring forward new purchasing policies and procedures, and a number of other proactive compliance initiatives. These measures were publicly disclosed at that time.

The comprehensive review that brought about these changes was conducted by outside legal counsel, and those results and recommendations were presented to the Audit Committee and to the Board in 2018. The findings were also turned over to federal law enforcement. The Audit Committee and the Board have met with the Compliance Committee throughout 2019 and 2020 and are working jointly to review and implement significant changes to the District’s purchasing policies and procedures.

The Board requested that Mr. Martin investigate and calculate the amount of any potential overpayments on the relevant contracts, in part to determine the viability of recovering those funds through negotiations or other means. The board has since received serious allegations regarding the validity of the Internal Auditor’s methodology and the accuracy of the calculations.

To clarify, Mr. Martin did not discover the overpayment issues with these contracts and was not being prevented from investigating them. Because these matters are under investigation, further comment is not appropriate.

The District and the Board remain committed to the highest standards and practices in procurement and contracting, to integrity and professionalism in every aspect of the District’s operations, and to the most efficient and effective use of taxpayer dollars and to fully and completely investigate these issues.

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