The Brownsville Independent School has advertised for a Request for Qualifications for auditor to conduct a review of the BISD health insurance program. We think that the first course of action for the auditor is to review the work product of the BISD’s insurance consultant for a comparison to actual contracts signed by the district. Our preliminary review indicates that Mr. Aguilar, President of the BISD school board, may have signed a contract that appears will cost the taxpayers an additional +$371,000 in administrative fees. If true, someone needs to be held accountable for this significant variance from the recommendation/s made to the BISD Board of Trustees (a $371,000 additional administrative cost = approx. 15% variance in total administration costs).
The auditor’s job will be only as good as the BISD wants it to be. The parameters within which the auditor will be empowered will be dictated by the those that hire him/her. In our opinion, the auditor should be given a full and wide range of parameters within which to work. A $40 million budget item deserves close scrutiny – the cost of the audit should not be a deciding factor in hiring.
MedReview LLC was at one time hired by the BISD. Their report received little attention from the Board of Trustees at the time. A review of the video of the board meeting during which a representative of MedReview LLC made his presentation, will show total lack of interest, with cursory remarks made by members of the then sitting board. The presenter wanted to begin a slide show presentation, but was asked not to by one of the board members who stated “no need to spend time on your slide show…………we have all read your report and we are good with it.”
However, a close and careful review of the MedReview audit details concise and informative information. We are positive that if the same comprehensive review is performed again, significant findings will be exposed.
The auditor should be directed to review all contracts in place that are associated with the BISD health plan. These contracts need to be compared, line item by line item, to proposals recieved during the recent RFP process, as well as compared to the consultant’s work product and written recommendations. Any variances should be questioned as to accuracy.
There are many forensic auditing firms in the market that specialize in self-funded employee welfare plans. We hope that the BISD selects a firm that is non-local, independent with a proven track record of forensic auditing. We hope that the BISD will give the auditing firm wide berth to investigate the entire BISD health plan and not limit the examination to a selected and few hand picked areas of focus.
Editor’s Note: We hope that the FBI and the Texas Attorney General open an investigation into the BISD insurance program. We suspect they already have done so.