Oklahoma state auditor finds OKC has $850,000 in radios sitting in a storage facility

Oklahoma City has hundreds of radios originally worth more than $850,000 sitting in a storage facility, the Oklahoma state auditor and inspector says. He called it a waste of taxpayer money.
BY WILLIAM CRUM wcrum@opubco.com Modified: April 30, 2013 at 9:44 pm •  Published: April 30, 2013

The radios “did what they were advertised to do” although using them “would not be in our best interest,” Wagnon told auditors.

“So we honored our purchase,” he said.

Of the 876 radios purchased, about 485 were installed and later removed, auditors found.

Forty radios ultimately were used for other purposes, and 12 were used for spare parts, the report said, “leaving 824 intact radios in a city-owned storage facility.”

“At a cost of $1,034 per unit, 824 unused radios equates to $852,016 in obsolete inventory,” the audit concluded.

‘Still have value to us'

Berry asserted that the stockpiled radios are not obsolete.

Modified for voice communications, those radios can be used as replacements for radios in vehicles that are not used for public safety, he said.

They also can be used for spare parts, Berry said.

The city has 759 of these type of radios in use now in vehicles that are not used for public safety, Berry said.

Managers expect the need for spares to escalate as those radios age, he said.

The stockpiled radios can fill that need, Berry said.

“They are not obsolete at this point,” he said. “They still have value to us.”

Berry added, “The good news I think to take out of this is that all of the radios are accounted for, we know where all of them are.”

Had managers known more when they were buying the radios, it's possible a different decision would have been made, Berry said.

Wagnon said he was gratified by the audit's conclusions regarding alleged misappropriation of public money.

“From the moment I was informed of the initial allegations I was surprised, yet confident that an investigation would result in clearance of the matter.”

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