The Uniondale Public Library has been criticized by state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli's office for its lack of a procurement policy in areas that should involve competitive bidding.
"Because the purchasing policy does not address procurements that are not subject to bidding laws, library officials did not always seek competition when procuring goods and services," the report states.
Auditors found that the library, for example, paid a professional service provider and an insurance broker a total of $90,912 without soliciting competitive bids. It recommended adoption of a comprehensive procurement policy that "reflects general municipal law requirements."
The state audit covered the period from Jan. 1, 2013, to June 30, 2014. The library has 84 employees, 19 of whom are full time. Its 2014 fiscal year budget was $4.2 million.
The report noted that, while the use of competitive bidding for such procurements is not legally required, "the law does require a policy to be established; and best practices indicate that the use of competition helps ensure the most prudent use of taxpayer moneys."
The report also said that library officials did not solicit competitive bids when procuring services costing $134,076 and did not solicit again when procuring goods and services from 10 vendors who were paid a total of $28,551.
"As a result, library officials and taxpayers have limited assurance they obtained goods and services at the most reasonable cost," the audit states.
A letter dated Aug. 5, 2015, from library director Christine Belling, attached to the state audit, thanked the state auditors and noted that the "Library board of trustees has taken corrective action."
In an interview Monday, Belling said that the library board updated its procurement policies in March.