Report: Philly schools' TransPass program mismanaged

Posted: September 07, 2012

CITY CONTROLLER Alan Butkovitz earlier this week cited the school district's efforts in getting four schools removed from the state's list of "persistently dangerous" schools.

He wondered Thursday why the district couldn't have the same fortitude when it comes to its sometimes-incompliant bookkeeping, especially given the district's shaky finances.

"They have to pay attention to financial management and financial issues and accountability in the schools," Butkovitz said. "If they don't have the money, the wheels don't go around."

Butkovitz released a report Thursday that found the $33 million student TransPass program is "at risk for theft and abuse." The report sampled one week of TransPass activity at four high schools and found that 12 percent of the passes could not be accounted for. The lost passes - 575 of the 4,944 distributed that week - were worth about $9,500.

District spokesman Fernando Gallard said the district's procedures are designed to ensure that only students qualified for TransPasses receive them and that the district is only billed by the ride, not by the TransPass.

"We disagree with the city controller's notion that the district could be exposed to the losses that he describes," Gallard said. "We agree that the schools should and must improve the reporting and accounting processes."

District employees are supposed to sign each time a pass is given out, but the "vast majority" of listings were unsigned at the schools, according to the report.


Contact Regina Medina at medinar@phillynews.com or 215-854-5985. Follow her on Twitter @ReginaMedina.

comments powered by Disqus
|
|
|
|
|