In a belt-tightening fiscal climate, where the City of LA has a $350 million short fall in its budget, it is a bit dismaying to learn that the Los Angeles Housing Department somehow failed to even try to collect $48 million in fees and rent owed to the LAHD, and thus to the city.
This is according to an audit of the LAHD released on Tuesday by City Controller Wendy Greuel.
We are thankful that the controller did the audit and uncovered yet one more hole in LA’s monetary pockets.
Just as weirdly, Greuel found that the LAHD has multi-millions it has collected that is sitting in a bank account, unused.
This is from the Controller’s statement:
“The Housing Department does a very good job helping to build housing, they’re not good at collecting money. Referring only 29% of fees for collection is simply unacceptable,” said City Controller Greuel. “I’ve talked about the need for improved collections many times, while the City will never achieve a 100% collection rate, City Departments must do a better job of sending these delinquent accounts to agencies more equipped to collect the outstanding funds.”
How in the world does this sort of thing happen?
Perhaps if those working at the LAHD were directly affect by the collection, or lack thereof, of millions of dollars in fees,—let’s say if the LAHD folks had their salaries dependent on some reasonable percentage of the money getting rounded up—maybe then the whole fee collection thingy would feel a bit more urgent.
I’m just saying.
Note: This past summer Greuel found that other city departments were failing to collect hundreds millions of dollars.
In any case: GO CONTROLLER WENDY!