Controller Questions Fairmount Park Management

This just in from the Controller's office:

P R E S S R E L E A S E

Controller’s Report Finds Lack of Accountability for Fairmount Park’s Assets

PHILADELPHIA – City Controller Alan Butkovitz today released the Fairmount Park Commission Auditor’s Report Fiscal 2005 that again found a lack of accountability over its assets for furniture and equipment that was bought with taxpayer funds.

Failing to implement the Controller’s recommendations allows for the risk of property loss, and no one is held responsible as evidenced by the missing items listed in its accounting records.

“When taxpayer’s dollars are involved, accountability and responsibility should always be the top priorities,” said Butkovitz. “The FPC needs to investigate and account for all missing assets. The longer assets go unaccounted only provides for a greater chance that they will go missing.”

Even though an Administrative Services Center (ACS) within the City’s Department of Recreation took over the accounting function for the FPC’s reported $1.5 million in furniture and equipment, little was done to improve responsibility for its assets. The FPC still needs to implement the following changes that would require responsible employees to:

-investigate and explain in writing the differences discovered between the FPC’s accounting records and assets physically on hand;
-file asset loss reports with the City’s Procurement Department;
-require supervisory approvals for assets to be disposed; and
-ensure that appropriate personnel within the FPC and the City’s Procurement received copies of asset disposition notices.

Along with the assets not properly monitored, the Controller’s report also found park supplies missing. The Controller’s prior recommendations to correct this problem were never implemented.

“Missing property is a constant occurrence in our audits and reports,” said Butkovitz. “The FPC, as well as every City Department, should designate someone who should be responsible enough to manage city-funded assets. When there is no accountability for equipment, supplies and all other City assets, it’s taxpayer’s dollars that are being wasted.”

The FPC has the responsibility of providing management for a major urban park system as well as park activities for residents and visitors.

For this report as well as other reports issued by the Controller’s Office, please visit, www.philadelphiacontroller.org

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