Financial overseer says Peduto late on Pittsburgh's payroll management system
Pittsburgh must fix its internal accounting systems before it can think about implementing a five-year financial plan that includes a tax hike and new borrowing, the city's second set of fiscal overseers said on Tuesday.
The Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority released a letter to Mayor Bill Peduto and City Council saying the city should cut expenses by 20 percent and install electronic systems to track payroll, assets and expenses before the plan is adopted.
The Peduto administration promised to have the payroll system in place by April, the letter notes.
“We think it's prudent to make sure we have the proper financial management systems in place before we go out and raise revenues off of taxpayers' backs,” ICA Chairman Nicholas D. Varischetti said. “From our perspective, why in good conscience go to the taxpayers and raise taxes when we know first-hand that the system in place is flawed and wastes money.”
Peduto, who is attending a leadership conference in Denver, responded that his administration is working on the financial systems. He also questioned the 20 percent cut.
“Until we have the systems in place to thoughtfully and deliberately analyze the performance of our departments, programs and services, indiscriminately slashing our operating budget by 20 percent would be irresponsible and would likely result in a less effective, less responsive city government,” Peduto wrote.
State officials appointed the ICA and Act 47 teams to help Pittsburgh resolve financial problems after classifying the city distressed in 2004.
Act 47 coordinators last week released a plan designed to earn the city's release from oversight in five years.
The ICA board urged the city for years to purchase computer systems for tracing finances and allocated gambling funds to pay the costs.
Pittsburgh in 2010 implemented a general ledger system for paying bills and performing basic accounting functions at a cost of about $4 million.
The city was scheduled to go live with an in-house electronic system for computing employee payroll in 2013, but there were multiple delays. Peduto has said the system did not work and cited nearly $1 million in cost overruns.
Peduto said in his response to the ICA that the administration is hiring a consultant to get the work back on track.
Bob Bauder is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-765-2312 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Ejections, heated moments mark Pirates’ win over Reds
- Zimbabwe alleges Murrysville doctor illegally killed lion
- New Steeler Boykin clarifies remarks about former coach
- Pirates notebook: Burnett says ‘surgery is not an option’
- After early criticism, Haley has Steelers offense poised to be even better
- Rossi: Looking at the next great Steeler
- County council candidates chosen for District 11 ballot
- Making environmentalism divisive
- Penguins not alone in top-heavy approach to salary cap
- Ability to clog the trenches crucial to Steelers defense
- Former Lincoln Park star Rowan chooses N.C. State