CT Technical High School system loses $185,000 worth of items - WFSB 3 Connecticut

I-TEAM

CT Technical High School system loses $185,000 worth of items

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Vinal Regional Vocational Technical School. (WFSB file photo) Vinal Regional Vocational Technical School. (WFSB file photo)
  • I-TEAMCT Technical High School system loses $185,000 worth of itemsMore>>

  • I-Team Investigation

    You bought it, they lost it: Technical school inventory

    You bought it, they lost it: Technical school inventory

    Tuesday, February 4 2014 7:05 AM EST2014-02-04 12:05:57 GMT
    The Channel 3 Eyewitness News I-Team is in its 10th year uncovering government waste, and Chief Investigative Reporter Eric Parker looked at thousands that went missing from Connecticut's TechnicalMore >
    The Channel 3 Eyewitness News I-Team is in its 10th year uncovering government waste, and Chief Investigative Reporter Eric Parker looked at thousands that went missing from Connecticut's technical high schools.More >
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

A state agency the I-Team has profiled before for misplacing taxpayer dollars hasn't done much after promising change.

In a dozen years profiling missing items from the state's inventory, the I-Team's You Bought It, They Lost It series has only had a handful of repeat topics.

However, over the years, the state's Technical High School System has made the list a couple of times. This year, it's back again with $185,000 in items that taxpayers bought and it lost.

In 2013, the I-Team found that the system lost more than $132,000 in tools and equipment.

A spokeswoman told the I-Team that they were switching to an electronic inventory system and promised that the numbers would improve.

In 2014, the I-Team checked to see how the system was doing and found the losses had more than doubled to $280,000.

A spokeswoman said they knew they needed to improve, but said percentage-wise, losing nearly $300,000 in equipment was "within industry standards."

This year, the I-Team checked again. Again, the losses were big.

They were better than 2014, but in the 2015 fiscal year, the system still reported more than $185,000 in losses.

At Bullard Havens in Bridgeport, the staff has a number items it can't find. The items varied from a mannequin to a lawnmower. They were bought for $96,000 and disappeared.

Vinal Tech in Middletown lost items including a sawzall and a netbook. It reported a total of $41,877.42 lost.

At both schools, an analysis was attached to the missing property report noting that the percentage of missing items was low and blaming the losses on items that were disposed of without following inventory control procedures.

Two years afterward, the I-Team was promised that those procedures were being improved.

At Wilcox Tech in Meriden, its list includes items purchased for $46,320. Those items, however, didn't disappear during inventory.

They were stored outside due to lack of storage space while the school was being renovated. As a result, they were damaged by the elements.

Eight thousand dollars worth of computers and $38,000 worth of other items were stored outside and had to be thrown out.

The I-Team asked the state Department of Education what it plans to do to stop the losses.

It provided a statement.

"While any loss of inventory is a concern we take very seriously, it should be noted that some loss of inventory - including disposal of property that has outlived its usefulness - is not unusual within a large system. Still, we are committed to reviewing our systems to strengthen our asset management and minimize future occurrences."

The I-Team will continue checking back to see if the system eventually makes any improvements.

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