Audit: W.Va. State Police Went Years Sans Formal Buying Rules

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A legislative audit says West Virginia police went without formal, written purchasing rules for years, increasing the risk of fraud, abuse and waste.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the legislative Performance Evaluation and Research Division audit says the department was left without formal, written rules once legislators exempted the department from state Purchasing Division regulations in 2017. State Police Capt. Shallon Ogleby on Monday told legislators that a written purchasing manual was completed and distributed this month.

Ogleby said department workers always abided by purchasing guidelines, they just didn’t have them in writing. Research division Director John Silva says state police instead relied on verbal communication and institutional knowledge about the buying and bidding processes.

State police must show legislators evidence of exemption-related cost savings and efficiencies next year.