Here's the release:

Butkovitz Releases City Council Audit
Controller finds Council paid for professional services without required contracts

PHILADELPHIA – City Controller Alan Butkovitz today released the FY2009-08 City Council audit that found Council purchased professional services without using a city-required contract.

In FY09, two entities were paid a combined $15,000 for providing professional services such as consulting fees, research and reporting. In both instances, Council paid for the services but never obtained the required contract.

"City regulations require that professional services not exceeding $30,000 be procured using a miscellaneous purchase (MP) order," said Butkovitz. "The MP document serves as a contract and ensures that the City is receiving services that it is paying for. It's a method to monitor the services rendered and oversee proper payment."

"The required purchasing document also ensures that disclosures required by law, such as campaign contributions, are obtained before the provider is paid."

A direct purchase transaction, which is the payment method Council used for paying the two entities, is not a formal contract and is not designed to capture the information and provide the assurances of an MP document.

A few other findings form the Controller's audit include:
-Payroll posting errors for two of the six employees included in the sample; employees were not charged for leave,
-Council still does not have written payroll and personnel policies and does not perform background checks on new hires, and
-The petty cash fund included more than $5,000 in unreimbursed vouchers, some of which had been outstanding for months.

To read the report, click here.