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One employee of the city’s billing and collections office left; another was demoted
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
One manager has left city employment and another was demoted after an internal audit of Roanoke’s billing and collections office found the one’s pattern of skipping work or showing up late had hurt the office’s operations.
The audit found the manager s’ supervisor had been complicit in allowing the misconduct. That “created a negative, dysfunctional and undisciplined work environment,” the audit report said.
The audit also found one of the managers received a $2,000-a-year salary supplement for mileage, though the manager did little or no driving for work.
The office is responsible for debt collection, for preparing some of the bills the city sends and for administering some city taxes, such as admissions, meals and hotel taxes.
Finance Director Ann Shawver said Wednesday that the city took immediate action to fix the problems the audit found.
“We expect each and every employee to follow the rules,” she said.
She said the city’s personnel policy meant she could not name the managers.
The audit, meanwhile, offered a chance to think about how to do things better, she said.
She said she launched a review of work flow in the office, and assigned temporary staff to lend a hand. She sent two experienced managers to take charge there as well.
Shawver said city officials are also looking at whether some of the office’s work, such as enforcement of street parking rules, ought to be done elsewhere.
While the office pays mileage for employees using their own vehicles on city business, no one now receives a salary supplement to cover travel costs.
City officials also are reviewing training and job descriptions and have started team building efforts to improve morale in the office.
The audit examined records from 2006 to 2012 and interviewed 11 people who work or had worked in the office to reach its conclusions.
Auditors began their investigation after receiving tips on their fraud, waste and abuse hotline. Since April , they’ve investigated a total of 18 tips. Investigations have substantiated six of them.
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