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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Comptroller finds tablets purchased in 2020 for Head Start still in storage

By The Star Staff

The Comptroller of Puerto Rico issued a qualified opinion about the operations of the Municipality of San Juan’s computerized information systems that found a significant amount of electronic tablets purchased for Head Start that remain in storage or are in need of repairs.

A qualified opinion means individual or aggregate non-compliances are significant but not widespread.

Report TI-23-07 reveals that the Municipality of San Juan invested $1.4 million to buy 2,126 electronic tablets with a cover, keyboard and three-year warranty in 2020 for Head Start and Early Head Start students. Of those, some 485 electronic tablets worth $304,672 had not been distributed as of July 6, 2022.

Commonwealth auditors observed that the tablets were kept in good condition; however, the investment had yet to obtain all the expected utility. Should the tablets be assigned before October 2023, then the municipality would retain the opportunity to verify their operation and make possible warranty claims, the comptroller’s report noted.

The audit of two findings also detected that 185 electronic tablets classified as broken and wet, worth $114,998, remained stored in the Municipal Tower. Of those, 111 had been referred for evaluation, but after 10 months the guarantee had yet to be processed. The situation does not allow for maximizing the useful life of the equipment, the report noted.

The report said 13% of the tablets in Head Start centers were defective and had not been referred for maintenance service. The situation is attributed to the Municipal Regulations not having specific guidelines for referring to defective equipment.

The report recommends that the Municipal Management Office ensure that the municipality complies with a corrective action plan established by the Comptroller’s Office.

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