The Pittsburgh Police Bureau must improve how it documents money disbursed through a fund set up for witness protection, according to a city controller report released today.

Between Jan. 1, 2012, and Dec. 31, 2013, the city paid $368,720 out of the fund, which was created in 2001 by City Council resolution.

No instance of ‚Äútheft or abuse‚ÄĚ was found, the controller said in a news release. Nevertheless, the police should ensure that vouchers for witnesses‚Äô weekly necessities are signed by the recipient ‚Äúto confirm actual receipt.‚ÄĚ Those vouchers should be ‚Äúpre-numbered‚ÄĚ and issued sequentially to improve accounting and reporting and avoid duplication.

Controller Michael Lamb also recommended that council revisit the language of the resolution establishing the fund, since it states that the money is to be used for ‚Äúpurchases of services, supplies and equipment” when in fact more than 90 percent of the money is spent on witness-relocation expenses.

The bureau agreed with the recommendations and pledged to implement them in a letter attached to the report.

‚ÄúThese findings were all well received and will be adhered to and past practices of 20 years will be voided,‚ÄĚ Assistant Chief Maurita Bryant wrote.

Source