Just in time to outshine newest L.A. mayoral candidate Eric Garcetti on his big coming-out day, City Controller Wendy Greuel (also a candidate) has gifted her constituents a follow-up "report card" on all 41 audits she's issued in her time as L.A.'s top watchdog.
Acronyms and vague chart categories make the report pretty unreadable to your average townsperson, but after a few minutes of scouring, the city's major culprits are clear.
Here are the biggest scofflaws of the last two years:
These flippant departments have been blowing, or failing to collect, "more than $100
million" in taxpayer moneys at a time when there's negative to spare. (All mentioned audits can be found here.)
8. Information Technology Agency
Since being issued a "Performance Audit of Controls Over the City's Phone Lines" in January 2010, the ITA has only dealt with half the problems Greuel outlined, and all other city departments who use ITA services have not even begun to address the problems.
7. City Attorney's Office
L.A. City Attorney Carmen Trutanich has apparently been too busy breaking his own billboard rules to glance at a late-2010 audit of his "Workers' Compensation and Subrogation Program." Of 88 problems identified by Greuel, not a single one has been addressed.
6. City Administrative Office
The CAO has fixed a whopping 0 percent of Greuel's "Audit of Citywide Fixed Assets and Equipment," from May 2010. Same goes for the "Review of Citywide Use of Contracts for Services" and "ARRA Performance and Financial Audit of the Department of Transportation."
5. Department of Cultural Affairs
Distracted by festive fests and heritage months and the like, Cultural Affairs hasn't begun to act on Greuel's recommendation to review employees' cellphone contracts, via "Audit of Citywide Cell Phone Usage."
4. Mayor & City Council
No big surprise here. Put together, L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and his City Council have failed to remedy nine freaking audits, including the cellphone one mentioned above. It's ludicrous: The guys and gals with the best understanding of L.A.'s debt crisis should be the ones most on top of the solution, not the least. Obviously not business majors, these ones. Nor too big on ethics.
3. Personnel Department
Kind of linked to No. 4, but still: Has gotten nowhere on "Review of Citywide Use of Contracts for Service." Pretty much their biggest responsibility.
2. Transportation Department
Greuel found out this summer that Transportation officials had failed to collect $15 million in parking tickets. Both her "Audit of the City's Parking Citation Process" and "Audit of the City's Parking Meter Collection Process" have gone completely unanswered.
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SHOW ME HOW
1. Department of General Services
We've always been super weirded out by the GSD: It has its own police squad, parking service and executive division. (Can you say padded bureaucracy?) Not surprising that they've got three outstanding audits to take care of, including "Review of Volume Discounts for Commodity Contracts," "Audit of Early Payments to Vendor" and a review of the city's contract with Motorola.
So -- where does an L.A. audit go, once the department it's intended for receives its initial media scolding? Well, now we know. Updates to come as we try to wade through Greuel's term work -- and the city's non-responses -- in full.