Audit: City working on parking meter reconciliation process

A few years after the city was slammed for how much of its parking meter revenue had gone missing, there’s still work to do. A new report states the city still hasn’t made all the recommended fixes to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

A new audit shows the Department of Municipal Development (DMD) needs to reconcile its collection reports to the actual funds received from the parking meters.

It’s a problem that dates back at least three years when a 2016 audit compared what the meters said they were taking in against what workers said they were collecting from the meters.

The collections were thousands of dollars short and that was only a small sampling.

“That’s very worrisome that money is not being accounted for. Where is it going?” Louis Gonzalez of Albuquerque asked.

The audit said there was no explanation of where the money went and no indication that the shortages had been looked into. The follow-up audit from this year claims the city has not yet completed a reconciliation process.

“We need a little bit more done with the meters, especially keeping track of what money’s in there and people coming around and collecting the monies out,” Carrie McKain of Albuquerque said.

Although in the new audit, DMD stated it now makes daily reconciliation reports to check for discrepancies, and ones over $50 are forwarded to the Treasury Division where they can be researched and documented.

The department said discrepancies can be attributed to malfunctioning coin sorting mechanisms or if money was not collected from every meter, but does not mention if theft is a major concern. 

KRQE News 13 asked City Auditor Jim Thompson if he ever got an explanation for the meter revenue shortages reported in 2016, and if he’s still concerned about discrepancies in meter collections. In an emailed statement, he said: “The control weakness expressed in the audit will remain a concern until the recommendation is fully implemented.”

Since the original audit, the Parking Division now explains increases and decreases in parking meter revenue each quarter to the Office of Management and Budget.

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