Arts & Entertainment

City Controller Greuel releases report card for Los Angeles departments

City Controller Wendy Greuel.
City Controller Wendy Greuel.
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

City Controller Wendy Greuel released a report card today grading city departments she has audited in the past on how well they are meeting her recommendations.

Greuel has conducted more than 40 audits over the last two years, which she said revealed more than $100 million in lost savings or opportunities.

"I see this as an accountability tool," Greuel said. "During these tough economic times, every single penny counts."

Greuel, a 2013 mayoral candidate, was flanked by Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce CEO Gary Toebben and Valley Industry and Commerce President Stuart Waldman at a morning news conference to announce the report card.

She said it will help track how successful city departments have been in following audit recommendations and finding fiscally responsible ways to operate. She plans to update the scorecard monthly.

The first report card showed the Los Angeles Convention Center had followed up on some of the controller's recommendations. The department had begun so-called demand-based pricing to make use of convention center space during off-peak times "when it would otherwise sit empty and vacant," Greuel said. She said the efforts had raised an additional $1 million in revenue for the city.

The Department of Cultural Affairs received poor marks for not acting on Greuel's recommendation to review the department's cell phone contracts.

The Department of Transportation was the subject of a series of audits in May, including one that found poor oversight in how the department pursued the city's worst parking violation offenders. The scorecard found the
department had enacted zero of Greuel's 23 recommendations to improve how LADOT goes after parking scofflaws and zero of 15 recommendations to improve the department's oversight of city parking meters.

In another case, City Attorney Carmen Trutanich's office failed to satisfy any of the 66 recommendations in an audit regarding workers' compensation in October 2010.

Deputy Controller for Gov. Affairs Daniel Tarica said the departments may have made some progress on the recommendations, "but in order for our auditors to show progress, they have to respond to our office directly, and they haven't."

Departments are usually required to respond to an audit in 30 days.

"What the controller is proposing today is what every business has been doing in Los Angeles for at least the last three years," Toebben said. "When you have opportunities to save as much as $100 million, you don't put
that plan on the shelf."

Responses from the City Attorney's office, Cultural Affairs Department and Department of Transportation were expected Thursday afternoon.