PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (CBS) – Mayor Kenney announces the formation of a task force to oversee the reconciliation of city cash accounts after tens of millions of taxpayer dollars goes missing.
“I take these unreconciled bank accounts seriously,” said Mayor Kenney. “I am not greeting this with nonchalance or apathy. The staff of the Finance Department and the Treasurer’s Office are approaching it with appropriate urgency. With the coordinated approach of this Task Force, I vow that we will fix these things, and fix them soon. Taxpayers deserve no less.”
City Controller Rebecca Rhynhart called the missing money “unacceptable” in an interview back in April.
Rhynhart says the previous controller noticed the issues with the account as far back as 2014. Now, the city has hired an outside accounting firm to pick up the slack and find the cash at the cost of $500,000.
The task force will include Philadelphia city agencies as well as outside consultants. It will include representatives from the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority (PICA), City Council, and the Office of the Inspector General (the Office of the City Controller declined to participate). The task force aims to proceed on a timely basis, establish and enhance controls, and report out on progress to the public.
Treasurer Rasheia Johnson will serve as co-chair of the Task Force. “Full cooperation across city agencies represented within the Task Force will ensure that efforts are not duplicated, that taxpayer funds are used efficiently, and this matter is resolved quickly and accurately,” said Johnson.
Another co-chair is former City Controller Jonathan Saidel.
“I learned from my tenure as controller that having all the stakeholders at the table is the best way to achieve a speedy and true resolution,” said Saidel. “This Task Force demonstrates the urgency that this Administration places on the matter, and I’m proud to take part.”