Department of Corrections
Justice Secretary Responds to Aramark Audit: Also Attached DOC’s Response to Audit and Auditor’s Report
FRANKFORT, KY – The Department of Corrections (DOC) will strengthen its review and documentation of prison food operations as a result of a state audit into its contract with food vendor ARAMARK, Justice and Public Safety Secretary J. Michael Brown said today.
“Our highest priority is public safety, and a part of that is assuring adequate care of the individuals in our custody,” Brown said. “We are providing appropriate nutrition to the inmate population at a lower cost than providing the service in-house, a good value for the taxpayers. Although we strongly believe we have a comprehensive monitoring strategy in place, we accept the recommendations for formalizing and strengthening our current monitoring process, and look forward to implementing improvements to the system.”
He added: “We recognize that the Auditor of Public Accounts has conducted an extensive review of the department’s contract with ARAMARK, and we appreciate the valuable insight gained from that third-party perspective.”
Brown noted that the audit identified $36,000 in billing errors, and auditors speculated that the errors, if repeated, could amount to $130,000 in the context of a $12 million contract. He said DOC is reviewing each and every one of those bills, and pointed out that the department is in the process of implementing recently-available technology that provides real-time inmate counts, not estimates, which will correct the miscalculations. Still, Brown said, “these identified errors represent less than one-third of one percent of the contract, and given the magnitude of the contract, indicates that good management has been in place.”
Brown also noted the report found that the contract represents a significant savings to the taxpayers of the Commonwealth, providing three meals a day for $2.63 per inmate -- substantially less than the $3.28 daily cost per inmate in place prior to the contract five years ago.
In addition, the report confirms that the Department of Corrections is meeting the nutritional needs of the inmates through the contract, which provides for 2,800 calories a day and exceeds the American Correctional Association’s (ACA) standards for food service, and is line with other state correctional system requirements, Brown said.
A copy of the department’s formal response to the audit is attached.
ARAMARK Audit - DOC Response
ARAMARK Audit Report