What to Know
- Over the next seven to ten months, the Philadelphia City Controller's Office will evaluate the Philadelphia Parking Authority as a whole.
- The Controller's Office is responding to concerns that the revenues from on-street parking are not being distributed fairly.
- This investigation builds upon the 2017 report published by the Pennsylvania State Auditor General's office.
As concerns over salaries rise within the Philadelphia Parking Authority and funding toward the public schools allegedly drops, the city controller and Pennsylvania auditor general announced Wednesday that they would team up to audit the authority.
Over the next seven to 10 months, the Philadelphia City Controller's Office will evaluate the validity and effectiveness of the PPA's on-street parking expenses. They will also include a comparison of the PPA's operations to other large cities.
"Over the last few years, aggressive ticketing practices, frustration over the amount of funding provided to the school district, and revelations about workplace culture problems – including sexual harassment and excessive pay and benefits – has left many Philadelphians distrustful of the Philadelphia Parking Authority," Controller Rebecca Rhynhart said.
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In December, the Pennsylvania State Auditor General's Office identified 11 findings and made more than 117 recommendations to improve the PPA's overall operations. Hiring processes, uncollected parking fees and inaccurate revenue projections were among the issues listed in the report.
Additionally, the audit addressed concerns of sexual harassment at the PPA, including claims against the former executive director and other staff.
"Auditing PPA was a huge undertaking and we helped get the agency started in a better direction. I'm happy to support Controller Rhynhart’s ambitious initiative to dig even deeper so that we can make sure as much funding as possible goes toward improving local schools," DePasquale said.
Following the audit announcement, City Councilwoman Helen Gym issued a statement in support of the upcoming investigation.
"I look forward to finally having a full analysis of the ballooning expenses and administrative bloat of this agency, and partnering with Controller Rhynhart and Auditor General DePasquale to ensure the PPA is held accountable to the people Philadelphia," Gym stated.
The PPA responded to the audit announcement by saying it was looking "forward to working with the city controller to continue making the PPA more efficient and customer-friendly."
The investigation, which is set to begin in August, is the first controller's audit of the PPA since 2009.