by Sam Hieb
FTA auditors recently raised questions about some of PART’s bookkeeping practices, but PART moved quickly to resolve them, McKinney said.
In fact, federal auditors seemed pleased with the group’s performance in a recent meeting with PART’s finance committee, said High Point Mayor Becky Smothers, a member of that committee.
“They praised it in terms of its numbers and operations as being a very effective public transportation system,” Smothers said.
I procured my own copy of the audit. Among the findings, in the FTA’s own words:
*PART’s current policies and procedures regarding the cash count process are not adequate to ensure that there is accuracy in the reporting of income and the retention of cash count data;
*PART does not reconcile the farebox proceeds. When adjustments are made by the bank related to farebox proceeds, PART just books a loss. There is no process for recovering the money;
*During our review it was noted that PART allowed another FTA grantee to use FTA funds to purchase a pickup truck….The pickup truck was not identified as an allowable expenditure in any of the Activity Line Items (ALI) for the referenced grant;
*PART does not have an adequate management framework that includes policies and procedures, technical resources and staff, organizational assignment of responsibility, individual job descriptions, matching functions and related methods to measure performance and ensure adequate grants management and the proper use and safeguarding of FTA grant funds;
*When shortages between passes sold and cash collected by consignees occurs, PART records a loss. There is no process for recovering the money from the consignee;
*PART purchased one bus for the City of High Point and seven buses for Elon University using the two grantees FTA funds. PART maintained title to the buses and the grantees had possession and use of the buses. As a result, PART was left with oversight responsibility for the buses with no direct control over them.
You get the idea. With this in mind, it’s little wonder cash-strapped local governments are reluctant to relinquish taxpayer funds.