NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The state of Louisiana spent millions of dollars on new equipment for the massive new University Medical Center complex. The problem is, a new audit finds much of it can't be accounted for.
"If they can't find it, we need to ask that question - was it stolen?" said Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera.
The report criticizes the state Office of Facilities Planning for failing to provide documentation to ensure that the equipment was properly tagged and entered into the state's asset management system.
"In New Orleans at UMC, HCSD bought certain properties. Whenever you buy property with public funds, if it's over $1,000 you have to tag it and report it as inventory to the state," said Purpera.
The report also says that the LSU Health Care Services division "did not ensure asset purchases totaling $15.1 million for the new University Medical Center, were considered for tagging and entry into the state's asset management system."
"It happens because you don't follow the rules and regulations," said Purpera.
The report also says there's over $1 million worth of equipment not located at the previously used interim hospital.
The report includes statements from the Health Care Services division concurring with the findings. They include a promise that corrective action is being taken.'
No one with the LSU Health Care Services division responded to a request for an interview.
"Taxpayers deserve accountability out of their government," said Purpera.
The report also says similar problems occurred at the now-closed Earl K. Long hospital in Baton Rouge. There, it appears that $4.7 million worth of property is unaccounted for.