The LAUSD Superintendent Grabs More Power
The bureaucracy that was unable to stop a cyber attack against the school district can now hand out no-bid contracts to fix the problem.
- LAUSD Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho
Public entities like the LAUSD must follow strict rules when procuring goods and services to prevent corruption. An open bidding process helps to ensure that taxpayers are receiving goods and services for the best price possible and limits the ability of those working for the district to steer contracts to suppliers with whom they have a personal relationship. The process also promotes accountability as the requirements of the district are stated upfront committing suppliers to set standards.
Understandably, these requirements are set aside in times of crisis in order to speed up reaction time. LAUSD Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho felt that the recent hack of the district’s computer systems was worthy of this type of designation and asked the School Board to provide him with emergency powers during the September 13, 2022, board meeting. Before they voted on this request, I explained why the decision needed to be delayed during public comment:
When the Superintendent made an unagendized appearance before the Special Education Committee last week, he did so not to discuss “some of the most fragile students within our community,” but instead to address the recent cyber attack against the district. During this speech, he made the claim that the district was attacked “one time, not more than one time.” He said that the hack was immediately identified and intercepted as it was happening in “real-time” on Saturday night and that the district immediately brought its systems down to protect itself.
It is accepted that during a criminal investigation, there are facts that should not be released to the public, especially if doing so will…