Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "bids" ...

  • Who benefits from Supervisor grants?

    San Diego County supervisors have long had what many call a “slush fund,” millions of dollars they can spend in any way they wish. inewsource investigative assistant Leonardo Castaneda analyzed 16 years of records to find that while the funds are meant to help improve neighborhoods, generally through grants to nonprofits, half of the money has gone back to the county itself. Each supervisor had $1 million a year in these discretionary funds, but when Castaneda began his inquiry, the board was considering doubling that amount. In this rolling investigation, His project exposed the the loose rules for grantmaking and the fact that some supervisors take personal credit and acknowledgement for the funding — when that’s not allowed. Those practices fuel the critics who say the “slush fund” is less about improving neighborhoods and more about securing the supervisors’ re-election bids.
  • Treasury's Bankers

    A government program aimed at saving money by eliminating paper benefits checks is hurting millions of vulnerable citizens. As they face confusion, high fees and poor customer service, the bank that issues a government-backed debit card is collecting millions in fees charged to consumers and millions more from the government, according to the Center for Public Integrity investigation, "Treasury's Bankers." After the report, the Treasury Department agreed to open the debit card contract for new bids.
  • Brownfield Cleanups

    An investigation into a Missouri incentive program for brownfield redevelopment found that for several years, an environmental firm and major political donor was hired for all taxpayer-funded cleanups without public competitive bidding, and was typically allowed to operate as consultant and contractor. For the taxpayer-funded cleanup of an abandoned mall near St. Louis, the firm vastly overestimated quantities of hazardous waste, helping the developer secure more than $7 million in brownfield tax credits, and hired itself for the job. The firm told the state it was the low bidder for asbestos removal even though one of the bids came in lower. The program is now under investigation by the state auditor, and the state has delayed issuing the tax credit and reduced the maximum amount that could be paid by $288,000.
  • The Brunswick Stew

    “The Brunswick Stew” is a series of investigative reports that began with plea from a citizens group in Brunswick, Virginia. They asked for help shining some light on what was going on in their county. The effort would take several months. Filing FOI requests and pouring over a seemingly endless pile of paperwork, a number of serious issues came to light. Illegal bonuses and contracts, back room politics, political favoritism in the awarding of bids, and a blatant case of public safety being put at risk are what “The Brunswick Stew” unveils.
  • Paying out millions, and playing favorites

    The series explored favoritism and ethical lapses in the way Sarasota County government awarded lucrative contracts to private vendors. We found that the county relied too much on "piggybacking," a purchasing shortcut that allowed low and middle-level employees to essentially award contracts to whoever they wanted without bids.
  • "Union Township Investigation"

    A Cincinnati township has found itself in the midst of an "ethical swamp." Government officials made high dollar deals with contractors to make way for new developments in the city. The officials then took "high-level" positions "with the developer." In addition, bids were skewed so that they would only go to one contracting company, the same company that was owned by "the son of a township official."
  • Hillsborough County School District Land Investigation

    The ninth largest U.S. school district, Hillsborough County (FL), in 2006 was "growing fast enough to fill five new schools" per year. To meet the demand, Hillsborough county used the services of 4 private real estate brokers, without using bids, in violation of its own regulations. Three of the four brokers have records of criminal, legal and financial problems. Some of those brokers simultaneously represented the sellers, or flipped the land themselves, resulting in land purchases often made substantially above appraisal values. Reporters from the St. Petersburg Times documented swampland purchases, and school sites surrounded by the homes of sexual predators.
  • Jail Problems; Day Care; VITA; Dog Laws

    In a story about the jail locks, reporters found a major issue at the jail that had been known by the sheriff for years. In the story on day care, the reporter found that though parents could learn whether their children's centers had code violations but couldn't find out if anything had been done about them. In the story about information technology bids, the reporter revealed the scope of the proposed handover of the state's contracts, what it would cost and how many employees might be affected-- all despite official secrecy. And a little-known loophole in state law may be closed as a result of the story about dog attacks.
  • Potpourri

    Not really a series, this is an assortment of stories by reporters at the Times-Dispatch. One is on locks in the city jail that don't work; one is on a web site that tells parents about code violations at day care centers but not about what actions were taken in response; one reveals secret details about bids for state information technology contracts; and one is about efforts to make the owners of vicious dogs criminally liable for the dogs' behavior.
  • District bets on sports medicine

    North Broward County Hospital District hired three new physicians as team doctors, clinicians who work with regular patients and as medical directors of a new sports medicine institute. The three doctors will receive $16.5 million over nine years, much higher salaries than most orthopedic surgeons in the Southeast receive. Other physicians and critics say this is unfair because the district never looked into other options which may have been cheaper for taxpayers, such as seeking competitive bids. They believe this deal may have "more to do with politics than with medicine."