Audit reveals variety of problems with Palm Beach County school buses

Posted at 7:28 AM, Sep 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-27 10:45:40-04

The Florida Auditor General’s Office has released its report into the Palm Beach County School’s Transportation Department, which found overpaying, flawed inspections and a lack of training for bus drivers.

The audit was requested by State Rep. Irv Slosberg (D) of Boca Raton, who requested the review after the school’s failed attempt to roll out a bus routing system. 

In 2015, the roll out led to buses being late and what the audit called an insufficient response by the district.

The preliminary report says management was partly to blame, it says district officials did not follow a proper timeline for the roll out and claim the school board paid more for the program than they should have.

"The original cost ($217,000) for the district’s bus routing system was $138,000 more than the amount of other school district’s bus routing system contract ($79,000) upon, which the district’s procurement was based,” the report says.

Since last year’s bus crisis, every high-level manager overseeing the transportation department has left or been reassigned. The school board hired a private attorney and a non-profit to conduct independent reviews of the problems.

On Monday, Superintendent Dr. Robert Avossa provided the following statement to WPTV:

"These findings do not come as a surprise to me, nor will they surprise those in the community who were affected by late buses or bus routing problems last school year. This year, our buses are running on time, and we've seen a marked decrease in the number of transportation-related complaints this school year. We know there are still problems that must be addressed, but we are already well on our way to providing our students with the bus system they deserve."

Aside from problems with the routing system, the audit found the district was not keeping tabs of drivers to see if they had current commercial driver’s license. It also shows that drivers didn’t keep up with the required eight hours of in-service training needed each year.

Click here to read the full report.

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