Parks & Rec. 3 of 3

City Internal Auditor Imogene Isaacs who resigned after 22 years of devoted service to the city, after she was accused of leaking a story to the Palm Beach Post in 2012 concerning the Redemptive Life debacle is when I became interested in the audit department.

In 2013 the city hired a new Internal Auditor namely Roger Strout and that is the year I started attending the Audit Committee meetings along with three other residents.

We received notice of meeting’s via e-mail of date-time-and location–every month.
The City changed the meetings to quarterly (as required by the City Charter) and that is when the e-mails stopped notifying us of upcoming meetings, probably in the hopes we forget. Some did.

Along with Mr. Strout and his staff there are 3 Members-At-Large (All volunteers with background in accounting and the alphabet following their names) Their terms are staggered, and when their term ends they are invited back. The fourth member is the “Mayors Designee”

One Members-At-Large was named Harvey Caspari who in my opinion was the most intelligent member of the team. He asked very direct questions and if he was unhappy with the response or lack of, he was a bull dog and kept at it until he got the answers he needed. There was no fooling this guy. When his term ended, he was not invited back.
Another member is the “Mayors Designee” named David Rosenstein who has been a member since the Mayor appointed him, and will be there until the Mayors term ends.
I have listened time after time as Mr. Rosenstein question Mr. Strout on the number of audits he does and the length of time he spends on them. Here’s what I learned.

The audit dept. cannot do an audit until it receives documentation from the departments it is auditing. And there is the problem. It takes weeks, and in some cases months, before the needed documentation is released to the auditing dept. It seems Mr. Rosenstein should be asking City Administrator Jeff Green, who oversees city departments, why it takes so long to release the needed documentation.
I have heard excuses such as the person is on vacation, we are short staffed and other varied excuses. This is the main reason audit’s take so long.

Now would be the time to remind residents the City Internal Audit Dept. is the only dept. under the control of the City Commissioners.

When the Park & Rec. audit was completed a copy was sent to Mayor Muoio, City Administrator Jeff Green, Deputy Administrator Dorritt Miller, Assistant City Administrator Danielle Slaterpryce, Director of Parks and Rec. Leah Rockwell., and finally Director of Finance Mark Parks.

At this point the audit dept. waits for a response from the people mentioned above to receive feed back. This may take weeks to receive a response.

Audit Committee meeting scheduled for Feb.25,2016 was rescheduled until March 24,2016.
May 26,2016 meeting has just been moved to June 9,2016. Is this extra time needed for the city’s to sanitize the auditors report?

The Auditors report has found.

(1) Performing Background Checks:

One time volunteers are not background checked.
Regular volunteers, including athletic coaches, are not fingerprinted;instead a national search is performed based on the volunteers social security no.
No record is kept on who participates as a group volunteer and they are not background checked.

The city has a relationship with Prime Time which provides the city with volunteers, and it is their responsibility to run a background check on these individuals, however Park & Rec. does not obtain copies of the background checks.

According to the US Dept. of Justice National Sex Offender Public Website(NSOPW) 62,939 cases of child sexual abuse was reported in 2012.
Makes you rethink sending kid’s to summer camp.

Cause: The Dept. budget does not support the added expense of performing Level 2 fingerprint checks on volunteers.

Effect: A person with a questionable background could potentially obtain access to a child or vulnerable adult.

(2) Documenting Background Checks:

The Department was unable to locate six (6) of the nine (9) files requested or sixty seven percent (67%)

Cause: The Dept. does not have policies and procedures in place related to maintaining background check records.

Affect: The dept. inability to locate requested files for background checks may indicate they were not performed, possibly exposing children & vulnerable adults to individuals with questionable backgrounds.

It is my opinion the world runs better with volunteers and it only takes one bad apple.

(3) Securing Cash Collections:

As part of the Park & Rec audit, they noticed cash collections were not adequately secured.

Cause: There is not always a supervisor or second employee to complete the final cash count & verification at the end of the day.

Effect: With so many staff members having access to the safes, the opportunity exists to misappropriate cash.

Among the three listed items mentioned above there are 10 other items listed where problems were found and they are.

(4) Restricting Access to the Safes
(5) Drop Safes Combination Changes
(6) Timely Deposits
(7) Safeguarding RecTrac Credentials
(8) Logging out of RecTrac
(9) Non-Cash Terminals
(10) Processing Cancellations
(11)Restrictively Endorsing Checks & Timing and Pattern of Checks
(12)Sequential Documentation

One last observation: Internal Auditors Meetings are held in the Flagler Room directly across from the City Commission Chambers. This room is equipped for televising the meeting on the City’s channel 18 for residents who have an interest in following it.
Don’t bother looking for it, you wont find it. Why? The mayor can have it televised but will not. Why? It’s really no ones business what occurs there. It’s easier to sweep mistakes under the rug and protect employees who cant or wont do the job.