Pittsburgh Controller Michael Lamb was talking about Schenley Park Ice Rink, but he could have been discussing virtually any city facility that accepts payments.
â€śWe pretty much could do this audit anywhere across the city where we are taking money across the counter,â€ť Mr. Lamb said, calling a critical audit released Thursday on the ice rink symptomatic of the ongoing lack of strong city policies and procedures for cash management.
A review of a yearâ€™s worth of records from the rink includes a dozen findings related to inadequate or nonexistent policies and procedures on access to safes, receipts and deposit records, cashier controls, cash payments and reconciling accounts, among others.
Mr. Lamb said auditors found no evidence that any money was taken from the rink, which operates year-round as a recreation area and took in $181,120 in 2012 and $195,457 in 2013, with as much as 65 percent coming in cash. The money â€” some collected by the Zamboni driver at the ice rink and slipped under the door â€” comes from public and private ice skating, rink rental for hockey and miniature golf, and rental of a room for banquets and meetings.
Jim Griffin, Parks and Recreation Department director, wrote in a letter attached to the report that the department agrees with all of Mr. Lambâ€™s findings and will provide a plan to â€śaddress any deficienciesâ€ť by Monday.
In the wake of former police Chief Nate Harperâ€™s admission in 2013 that he diverted money for his personal use, city council passed legislation requiring the city finance director to develop and â€śpromulgateâ€ť a citywide cash-management policy.
Henry Sciortino, executive director of the Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority that oversees city finances, said finance director Paul Leger, hired in April, deserves â€śhigh marksâ€ť for his work on the policy and orchestrating the effort to modernize how the city receives payments in small â€śbites.â€ť For example, the city is trying a pilot program to use debit and credit card payments for special event permits.
â€śPaulâ€™s moving as quickly as he can,â€ť Mr. Sciortino said.
Mr. Leger called delving into â€śevery possible operation where the city touches moneyâ€ť a â€śherculeanâ€ť but vital task.
â€śThis is years and years of neglect that weâ€™re addressing,â€ť Mr Leger said, adding that it might take another year to fix.