BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Legislative auditors say the Idaho Office of Drug Policy violated state purchasing rules by awarding an advertising campaign contract without going through the competitive bidding process.

April Renfro with the Legislative Audits Division told the Idaho Press that staffers in the drug policy office mistakenly thought the campaign would fall under the state's "legal advertising" rules, which don't require competitive bidding. The office hired Boise design firm Neighborhood All-Stars for more than $380,000 for the campaign, which stretched from 2015 to 2017.

After the problem was identified, the office went through the required bidding process and then awarded a new contract to the same vendor.

The Office of Drug Policy now has a new director, Melinda Smyser. She's instituted new training and oversight requirements for contracts, grants and financial reporting.

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Information from: Idaho Press, http://www.idahopress.com

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