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News : Audit Finds $12M in 911 Call Center Grants Went to Wrong City Department


Baltimore, MD, USA, Dec 12, 2019 -- An audit of the Baltimore City Office of Information and Technology's finances found $12 million in 911 call center grants was sent to the Baltimore Police Department — even though police were no longer responsible for those operations at that point.

The review, conducted by city auditor Josh Pasch, found several issues within the office, including a lack of documentation for payroll timesheets and the misappropriation of the grant money. The audit covered the fiscal years ending in June of 2017 and 2018.

The main finding centered around the misappropriated grants for the 911 call center. The audit found that about $12 million in expenses was correctly charged to BCIT from fiscal years 2014 to 2016. However, the state of Maryland submitted the grant money to the police department, which never remitted the money to BCIT.

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During Wednesday's Board of Estimates meeting, Henry Raymond, the city's chief financial officer, said the error will be corrected sometime during the fourth quarter of this fiscal year.

"Finance will step in, do the research and prepare whatever correcting journal entry is necessary so the statement can be reflected properly," he said.

City Council President Brandon Scott, who sits on the BOE, asked why the discrepancy wasn't discovered earlier, considering the significant amount of money involved. BCIT officials said they would look back at past communications to examine why there was such a delay.

The audit also found BCIT was unable to provide supporting documents for some of the payroll timesheets. This was also hampered by the May ransomware attack on the city, which hit the BCIT server and wiped out payroll data, which the office had not backed up. However, the audit found the office was missing physical time sheets as well.

BCIT officials said they have since implemented a new backup process and procedure for timesheets.


Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent

Today's Tip of the Day - Quality Of Service

Read today's tip or listen to it on podcast.

Published: Friday, December 13, 2019

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