Call it one or several changes of attitude, a "misunderstanding," or a moving of the goalposts until "by 2014", but the ICA (the State's financial oversight panel) is now easing off the whip in its drive to get Pittsburgh to implement suitable universalized accounting software.
Administration officials made effective presentations that there are still a considerable number of technical steps to iron out. These include attaining strategic mastery over the present hodgepodge of financial systems and the vendors that will be needed to merge them, as well as addressing hurdles that may be found in collective bargaining agreements.
A status report by what this blog is calling the ICA's "private investigator" was more interesting. While Gleason & Associates clarifies that it has not observed any fraud or cash-skimming, it sounded an alarm that several business processes found throughout the City do keep too wide a door open to that opportunity.
Due to their volume of cash-flow, to what is known preliminarily about their different processes, and to any logistical issues on the part of the inquirers, the following departments were listed by the forensic consultant as proximate "fields for review," and not in alphabetical order:
Department of Public Works
Department of Public Safety- with an emphasis on the Bureau of Building Inspection
Department of Parks and Recreation
- emphasized very small amounts & many neighborhood ad-hoc processes including volunteers
Treasurer's office (housed in the Department of Finance)
The main things to look out for when it comes to opportunities for fraud and cash-skimming, said Gleason & Associates, is an inadequate segregation of duties -- receiving money, balancing books and receipts, depositing money -- and making these deposits as infrequently as quarterly, as well as a lack of automated card acceptance which would buttress the paper trails.
Some of these departments (DPW and Parks & Rec, as well as City Planning) presently utilize the same accounting software upon the point where the cash gets electronically recorded. City Innovation, Performance and Strategy Manager [CORRECTED] Chuck Half told the Comet that the game plan presently is to add the Police Bureau's Special Events office to that batch, owing to a streamline around building and permitting functions.
MORE OF THE DAY'S NEWS:
That's Church: "The Steelers want more public money. No."
P-G City Walkabout: A foreclosure by Dollar Bank is gifted to something called the Homewood Renaissance Association
Homewood Nation: Calculates 18% voter turnout within its sphere of interest.
Hillombo: Penguins development plan is moving forward, despite concerns including affordable housing in the Lower Hill
PURE Reform: Isn't being principal at Westinghouse hard enough?
Nullspace: Only itself and Jim Ferlo see sense in a merger with the Wilkinsburg school district, for some reason.
P-G Early Returns and PoliticsPA: Each showing trouble for Tom Corbett
PoliticsPA: Must-see politico-celebrity lookalikes.
City Paper Blogh: Byrne is shocked her name was mentioned
2 Political Junkies: Reminds us that Revenge of Gasland is coming tonight.