Audit Hotline Call Regarding Parking Bureau Supervisory Em–
4 Pages
English
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Audit Hotline Call Regarding Parking Bureau Supervisory Em–

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4 Pages
English

Description

MEMORANDUM To: Samuel G. Vennero, Parking Bureau Chief From: Beryl H. Davis, CPA, CGFM, Audit and Evaluation Director Date: May 20, 2003 Subject: Audit Hotline Call Regarding Parking Bureau Supervisory Employee (Audit Report No. 03-11) At the request of the Chief Administrative Officer, the Office of Audit and Evaluation has investigated the allegations reported in an anonymous letter sent to the Mayor. This letter singled out a supervisory employee of the Parking Bureau and the letter writer made many allegations. The primary allegations focused on the employee: working a second job during City working hours, including using a City vehicle for this purpose; scalping tickets to Centroplex events; mistreating or intimidating the parking services contractor; and allowing free parking to certain visitors. We began our investigation by discussing the investigative techniques available to verify or corroborate any of the allegations made in the anonymous letter. It was decided to contact the Orlando Police Department (OPD) to discuss whether the alleged activities could be criminal in nature and would require an OPD investigation. The OPD representative stated that ticket scalping was an illegal activity but without specific information on the location of the activity, any surveillance would be time-consuming and expensive. Under the circumstances, it was decided not to pursue surveillance at this time. We decided to proceed with ...

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MEMORANDUM
To: SamuelG. Vennero, Parking Bureau Chief From:H. Davis, CPA, CGFM, Audit and Evaluation Director Beryl Date: May20, 2003 Subject: AuditHotline Call Regarding Parking Bureau Supervisory Employee  (AuditReport No. 03-11) At the request of the Chief Administrative Officer, the Office of Audit and Evaluation has investigated the allegations reported in an anonymous letter sent to the Mayor. This letter singled out a supervisory employee of the Parking Bureau and the letter writer made many allegations. The primary allegations focused on the employee: working a second job during City working hours, including using a City vehicle for this purpose; scalping tickets to Centroplex events; mistreating or intimidating the parking services contractor; and allowing free parking to certain visitors.
We began our investigation by discussing the investigative techniques available to verify or corroborate any of the allegations made in the anonymous letter. It was decided to contact the Orlando Police Department (OPD) to discuss whether the alleged activities could be criminal in nature and would require an OPD investigation. The OPD representative stated that ticket scalping was an illegal activity but without specific information on the location of the activity, any surveillance would be time-consuming and expensive. Under the circumstances, it was decided not to pursue surveillance at this time. We decided to proceed with information gathering through interviews and review of written documents. We discussed the matter with the Parking Bureau Chief and Parking Operations Supervisor. We collected documents from the Parking Bureau related to the performance of the parking services contractor. Since the letter was anonymous, we could not interview the person who made the allegations to verify their accuracy or to obtain more detailed information. After carefully reviewing the information gained from the interviews and written documents obtained from the Parking Bureau, we arrived at the followingfindings,conclusionsand recommendations. Findings Employee Working A Second Job The parking operation requires its personnel to work a variety of shifts to cover the parking at special events held at City facilities. Because of the shift work, an employee could be “off-duty” from the City during the midday hours and legitimately performing a second job. However,
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someone seeing the employee working a second job during the midday might not be aware that the employee’s City work shift occurs at another time.
We should note that City policy requires any employee working a second job to receive written permission to do so. We independently confirmed that this employee has followed City policy and has received the required permission to have a second job.
We were informed that the employee named in this allegation works in a remote location outside the main office of the Parking Bureau and somewhat independent of direct oversight by a supervisor or manager. Thus, there is no effective method to determine the extent to which the employee may be conducting personal business using the telephone or through other means. While we learned that Parking managers selectively observe this employee’s performance and may work with this employee during the most busy times, we conclude that there is ample time for this employee to perform non-work related activities during work hours.
It would require some form of secret surveillance to investigate the allegations that the employee is working a second job during City working hours, using a City vehicle to conduct personal business, or performing non-work related activities while on “City time.” Again, we were informed that undercover police surveillance could be time-consuming and expensive.
Ticket Scalping
It would be difficult to confirm whether ticket scalping is being done without corroboration or observation of its occurrence. Parking managers stated that they do not believe ticket scalping activities at the TD Waterhouse Centre would be profitable enough to tempt a City employee, who would be easily recognized by other City and City-contracted staff. Also, the anonymous letter does not offer any details on who could corroborate this allegation. The Parking Bureau Chief informed us that he does not believe that interviews of other parking system employees or the parking services contractor would be productive. For these reasons, we decided not to conduct these interviews.
During our discussion of this anonymous letter with OPD, it was suggested that the employee suspected of wrongdoing be reassigned to eliminate or minimize the opportunities that may exist for the employee to perform illegal activities. We discussed this possibility with Parking Bureau management and were informed that, at one time, the bureau did rotate supervisory staff among the various parking facilities. We believe that the bureau may benefit from reinstating this rotation policy and would also benefit from increasing its onsite supervision of the employees that work in remote locations. This supervision should include unannounced observations, increased interaction with City and City-contracted colleagues, and increased communication with parking patrons.
Mistreatment of the Parking Services Contractor
When we discussed with Parking management the allegations regarding the mistreatment or intimidation of a City contractor, we learned that the employee named in this allegation is up-front with his opinions and could have made strong statements regarding the contractor. However, we were able to independently determine that the management of the Parking Bureau has been documenting the poor performance of the current contractor; thus, the employee’s
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concerns could be justifiable. Nevertheless, it is possible that any comments made by the employee named in the allegation could be considered a threat. We conclude that the employee in question should be counseled in better techniques to express his opinions in a more constructive manner. Free Parking City Executive Management controls the granting of free parking. A list of the names of individuals needing free parking (elected officials, local dignitaries, etc.,) is sent from the Chief Administrative Officer’s office to the Parking Bureau each year. The list is posted in each parking attendant’s booth at the entrance to the parking facilities, to be used by the attendant in allowing free entry to the facility. Also, on occasion, Centroplex management will call Parking Bureau management to request free parking for a special guest not named on the pre-approved list. We were informed that in most cases this involves a newspaper or television reporter who has been assigned to cover an event held at a City facility. We learned that the names of these special guests are approved by Parking management and passed to the parking attendant’s booth where they are placed on a list indicating free parking for the specific event. We were also informed that this listing is destroyed after each event. We suggest that these listings be retained and forwarded to the Parking Bureau Chief, so that he is informed of the extent of these special circumstances. Then, the Parking Bureau Chief can conclude whether the number of these cases is limited to an acceptable amount. Conclusion Through our limited testing and interviews of Parking Bureau management, we have determined that there is insufficient data and information to prove or disprove the allegations listed in the anonymous letter to the Mayor. However, we believe that the Parking Bureau should consider the following recommendations as methods to control the activities alleged in the anonymous letter. Recommendations: 1. Werecommend that Parking Bureau management require that the list of names of customers granted free parking be retained for review by the Parking Bureau Chief, and that such lists be kept on file in the Parking Bureau. 2. Werecommend that Parking Bureau management counsel employees to be sensitive in their interaction with contractors and that appropriate methods of expressing dissatisfaction with performance will be used. 3. Werecommend that Parking Bureau management periodically rotate the personnel assigned to remote locations where supervision is not immediately available. 4. Werecommend that Parking Bureau management heighten its supervision and interaction with the employee named in this allegation to satisfy themselves that the allegations made in the anonymous letter are unfounded.
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Response The Parking Bureau Chief has indicated that he concurs with the above recommendations. BHD/am c: HonorableBuddy Dyer, Mayor  DavidK. Dix, Chief of Staff to Mayor  RichardL. Levey, AICP, Chief Administrative Officer  DavidL. Metzker, Public Works Director