The City Controller’s Pre-Audit Unit is responsible for approving disbursement requisitions for payment from the City Treasury. A division within Pre-Audit, the Technical Unit, consists of auditing and engineering staff that review capital projects as well as examine engineering and construction-related expenditures. Not only does this team examine invoices and payments but it conducts on-site inspections and confronts contractors and representatives of city departments when there are issues.
The Technical Unit identifies areas where contractors overcharge the City, which can cost millions of dollars in unecessary tax dollars. By examining invoices, the Technical Unit can determine if contractors are billing for incorrect taxes and insurance rates, equipment that was never used for a project and hours that were never worked by employees or subcontractors.
Results of Contract Compliance:
The Pre-Audit Unit reviewed $275,267,610 in contract invoices throughout Fiscal Year 2016. A breakdown of these savings included the following:
- A total of almost $1.3 million in tax dollars was saved through the efforts of the Technical Unit’s contract monitoring in Fiscal Year 2016.
- The majority of savings, 52 percent, were related to contracts at the Philadelphia International Airport. The bulk of these savings were the result of recovering money from contractors charging rates higher than allowable by contract or recovering money from contractors charging additional fees for costs that are included as part of the original contract.
- On a city-wide Department of Public Property contract for asbestos remediation, $272,131 was saved due to identification of incorrect equipment and labor charges.
- Almost $86,400 was saved by uncovering a contractor who billed for several items that were not allowable by the contract for work done at City Hall. This included billing for grooved concrete for the apron around City Hall, which was not implemented.