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Police To Fight Lax Spending Oversight With Words

From the word-is-mightier-than-the-sword department: The Los Angeles Police Department this week vowed to clean up lax oversight of spending by developing a "manual" that will provide guidelines for policing its own purchases.

The move comes in the wake of a critical analysis by the department's own Internal Audits and Inspections Division that found one in ten purchases did not have proper approvals, more than 80 percent of purchases had not been open to bidding, as required, and $2.6 million worth of goods came into the LAPD without receipts.

"We believe issuing a manual will resolve much of it,'' stated Capt. Joan Wakefield, commanding officer of the IAID. She was speaking before the city's Police Commission, which wanted to hear why purchases went unchecked.

While there was no outright fraud found, the IAID's audit was eye-opening, and it certainly begs the question of whether a document will prevent further losses and lack of oversight. The Police Commission, however, is giving the department until February to come up with a "status update."

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