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Pyramid Police April 3, 2006

Posted by Michael McVey in Hardware, Online Tools.
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pyramid police   Have you ever been driving down a highway, carefully observing the traffic regulations, and been pulled over by a police officer? Among your first reactions was likely that you were offended that somebody is accusing you of breaking the law, being the good citizen we know you are.

A week or two ago I was asked to provide a few receipts and explanations for the purchase of some computers for the facility. I was under the impression that auditors, on occasion, would seek such information in a random sweep. I did not think anything about it until last week when the police sirens and flashing lights showed up in my rear view mirror.

It turns out I was under investigation for a potential scheme known as pyramiding. I had to look it up. It turns out that we can only purchase up to five thousand dollars from any single vendor at a time. When you pyramid, you are breaking up the order so it appears to auditors as separate orders. This is how the auditors saw it so they sent me an official looking document with lots of bold red letters asking for more information.

What I recall about the purchases was that they were for a three eMacs, a G5, and a large display screen. They were purchased for two different roles but they were purchased close in time to each other. This short interval of time was what drew the attention of the auditors. Today I received notification that my response was acceptable and that I was not pyramiding; however, they felt obliged to slap my wrist for spending more than five thousand. It was not much more than that but they told me they would be watching my purchases and me for a while.

That is a little funny; I thought they were supposed to do that anyway.

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