UPDATE: Speed Camera Audit’s Not A Secret Anymore
The Sun managed to obtain a copy of the heretofore confidential audit of the city’s speed camera vendor, Xerox, and—lo and behold—the error rate reported was not the “less than a quarter of one percent” city officials claimed but 10 percent.
The Sun does the math:
“The city issued roughly 700,000 speed camera tickets at $40 each in fiscal year 2012. If 10 percent were wrong, 70,000 would have wrongly been charged $2.8 million.”
Nice work by Luke Broadwater and Scott Calvert.
The rest of the piece is mostly angry city council members asking why—why?—the administration would keep such a thing secret. Taxpayers spent $278,000 for the contractor that did the audit.
But what should Baltimoreans expect from an administration that says it wants audits but then does everything in its power to delay, defund, and diminish the auditing of city government agencies?
Take the long awaited—and still not done—audit of the city Department of Parks and Recreation. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s transition team recommended the audit in March of 2010. It did not happen. Chris Delaporte, a former Baltimore Parks director, pushed for the audit in 2011. It didn’t happen. Officials finally said it was because the department’s financial records were in no condition for an audit.
In the fall of 2012 the deputy director of the City Finance Department told a group of citizens that the comptroller’s office would have the documentation to perform the audit by December 31, 2012.
It still did not happen.
Or, at least, it has not happened yet, that anyone knows about. Delaporte, who calls himself The Park Advocate, says he’s been asking for updates ever since. “But, typical of the Rawlings–Blake administration, and Comptroller Joan Pratt, nothing has been revealed about any of the particulars surrounding this delay,” Delaporte wrote in a recent widely-shared email. “Such is the lack of respect they continue to show citizens in this matter. And still, they persist in talking about the importance of transparency.”
City Paper called City Auditor Robert McCarty last week to ask what gives.
He did not return the call.