Philadelphia controller to conduct audit of parking authority

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Philadelphia controller to conduct audit of parking authority. Annie McCormick reports during Action News at 5pm on July 11, 2018. (WPVI)

For the first time in a decade, the city is doing its own audit of the Philadelphia Parking Authority.

This comes just months after the state's own audit of the PPA in which it issued several recommendations for that department to get back on track.

The city controller wants to make sure the authority is spending wisely and following the dozens of recommendations made from two state audits completed last year.

Controller Rebecca Rhynart's office announced Wednesday it will scrutinize the profits made from on-street parking, and how the PPA operates, including hiring practices.

They will compare the PPA's operations to other cities.

"We'll looking at staffing levels, employee salaries, and other expenses," Rynhart said.

Last year the PPA made $135 million from on-street parking. The controller estimates of that money, 65% went to PPA's expenses, while $37.5 million of that money went to the city and another $10.3 million went to the school district.

A PPA spokesperson says in 2018 there is an increase of several million to the school district.

"If it comes back and every dollar is well spent and this is the maximum that can go to the schools then that's what the finding would be," said State Auditor Eugene DePasquale.

"That increase is happening on the heels of my audit and as controller Reinhart is beginning her audit," he said.

DePasquale's audit in 2017 slammed the agency, former executive director Vince Fenerty, and the board for lack of oversight, ongoing unchecked sexual harassment, and a loss of millions meant for the school district.

Fenerty resigned in 2016 amid two sexual harassment claims.

"These events increased the district for Philadelphians about the parking authority," said Rynhart.

The PPA, for its part, says 90 percent of DePasquale's recommendations have been applied. There is a new director, and on their own, they conducted an audit by the independent International Parking Institute and they received an accreditation of distinction.

Executive Director Scott Petri told Action News, "We look forward to working with the city controller to continue making the PPA more efficient and customer-friendly."

The audit will begin in August and take about seven months.

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