Providing Services for Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committees


How the Promise of Big Energy Savings in One Bay Area School District Led to a $50 Million Controversy?
May 21, 2024 | By KATIE LAUER|

EXCERPT: For the past decade, Schneider Electric has wooed educators across the country with promises of green, cost-cutting energy solutions to help improve learning conditions inside school halls and classrooms. …
    But several watchdogs responsible for ensuring effective spending of taxpayers’ dollars are now ringing alarm bells over one multi-million-dollar Schneider Electric project in Contra Costa County. Complaints have snowballed into questions about whether the Mt. Diablo Unified School District (MDUSD) illegally allowed Schneider to scope, design and construct energy-efficient improvements to buildings district-wide, ultimately doubling their cost to $50 million. …
    The school district’s Citizen’s Bond Oversight Committee (CBOC) on Thursday discussed sending a formal letter in June to the county’s civil grand jury about its concerns, shortly after sharing the same grievances with District Attorney Diana Becton’s office.
    Committee members — who are appointed by MDUSD’s governing board — are looking into allegations related to Schneider Electric’s “energy savings performance” contract with the district. Similar contracts at the crux of Schneider’s pitch to educators have been clouded by allegations of malfeasance, including criminal forfeiture of $1.7 million and a $9.3 million settlement in Dec. 2020 involving at least eight projects with the federal government. …
    Jack Weir, a member of the oversight committee, has spent two decades doing similar work on over $1 billion in school bonds for six different oversight committees. He said at a March 7 committee meeting that, “we would prefer the district to clean this up if there is a problem. But from my perspective, we aren’t getting any cooperation back from the (school) board, and this has gone on for months, and months, and months.” …

• • • • • • •
Commentary | Taxpayers Deserve Better Performance Audits of School Construction Bonds
Commentary by Bryan Scott | March 27, 2024 |
Excerpt:Proposition 39 made it easier to pass bond measures, but it also created a new emphasis on vigorous taxpayer oversight of construction expenditures. …   This oversight includes a performance audit that “… shall be conducted in accordance with the Government Auditing Standards issued by the Comptroller General of the United States for financial and performance audits.”  Education code section 15286 …   A statewide compliance survey released in October 2022 revealed that performance audits produced by most school districts fail to sufficiently comply with the required standards, according to a common sense, reasonable evaluation. …    Many performance audits are just over two-pages in length, and include a single compliance audit objective. They typically fail to audit or provide information on program effectiveness and results, internal control or any prospective analysis of the construction program, which is usually the largest construction program ever undertaken by a school district.    The comptroller general’s government auditing standards manual describes how government officials, such as school districts, should use a performance audit to assure the public that its money is well-spent. These standards describe the categories of audit objectives: program effectiveness and results; internal control; compliance; and prospective analysis. It also lists 32 examples of audit objectives, illustrating each of the four categories. This information provides objective analysis, findings and conclusions in order to improve program performance and operations, reduce costs and increase public accountability. …

CABOC Performance Audit academy webpage (includes videos, FAQs and resources):

 • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •


Bond Oversight Academy
CBOC Online Training Courses

The CABOC CBOC academy currently has 25 self-paced courses. There are resources with each course. The academy will be continually updated.

Help Desk   Contact CABOC’s Help Desk with your questions and for advice. 

FAQs  There are over 70 Frequently Asked Questions. The CABOC board is continually adding more FAQs.

Links  This web page has ver 100 external links to resources, ed codes, reports, websites, etcetera.

CABOC Purpose

CABOC is the trusted and independent source-of information, education, training, and assistance on school bond oversight to CBOC members and California taxpayers. Proposition 39 (2000) lowered the threshold for local voter approval of school bond measures to 55%. It was accompanied by the mandate to establish independent CBOCs to oversee school bond expenditures and report findings to governing boards, taxpayers, and the general public.

Our mission is to develop the tools: training materials, newsletters, workshops, and conferences to enable CBOC members to engage in rigorous independent oversight and fulfill their obligations to ensure and report that bond money has been spent adequately for the benefit of students, families, their communities, and all Californians and to represent our collective interests at the statewide level.

Voters have approved $198.7 Billion Proposition 39 School Bonds

Contact CABOC:

911 Notre Dame Ave, Concord, CA 94518

For CABOC Official Business Only   •      Terms of Service