Philadelphia Task Force Formed To Find $924 Million in Accounting Errors

Press Release

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

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PhillyBite Mayor KennyPhiladelphia, PA - Proclaiming it a matter of high urgency, Mayor Kenney today announced the formation of a Reconciliation Task Force to oversee the reconciliation of City cash accounts.


“I take these unreconciled bank accounts seriously,” said Mayor Kenney. “I am not greeting this with nonchalance or apathy. The staff of the Finance Department and the Treasurer’s Office are approaching it with appropriate urgency. With the coordinated approach of this Task Force, I vow that we will fix these things, and fix them soon. Taxpayers deserve no less.”

The Task Force will coordinate the work of City agencies and outside consultants. It will include representatives from the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority (PICA), City Council, and the Office of the Inspector General (the Office of the City Controller declined to participate). The task force will meet bi-weekly to ensure that reconciliations are proceeding on a timely basis, to establish and enhance controls, and report out on progress to the public.

The Task Force comes on the heels of substantial progress in the Treasurer’s Office efforts:

  • Since it was first discovered, the prior year’s consolidated cash account discrepancy has been reduced by about 30 percent.
  • Of 77 total bank accounts, 72 are fully reconciled.
  • Additional controls have been put in place to prevent such issues in the future.
  • New staff have been hired and the nationally recognized accounting firm of Horsey, Buckner & Heffler, LLP was hired to assist
  • The work of the team has produced concurrent monthly reconciliations for the consolidated cash account for the months ending June 2017 through April 2018.

“Even as the outside accounting firm continues its work with the City Treasurer’s Office, it became clear that more is needed,” said Treasurer Rasheia Johnson. “Full cooperation across city agencies represented within the Task Force will ensure that efforts are not duplicated, that taxpayer funds are used efficiently, and this matter is resolved quickly and accurately.”

Johnson will serve as co-chair of the Task Force, along with former City Controller Jonathan Saidel. “I learned from my tenure as Controller that having all the stakeholders at the table is the best way to achieve a speedy and true resolution,” said Saidel. “This Task Force demonstrates the urgency that this Administration places on the matter, and I’m proud to take part.”

 


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