City of Detroit’s Finance Department Makes Case for Most Hysterically Pitiful Internal Control System in Recent Memory

There are plenty of examples of internal control systems that are, shall we say, miserably deficient. Koss is one example. Dixon, Illinois is another. Churches are victims, too. And there are many, many others.

Let it be known that the City of Detroit shall be included as having one of the most contemptible control systems we've seen. An auditor general's report was presented to the Detroit city council and the findings were what you might expect from the Motor City:

The auditor's report says the department operator with next to no operational controls and a cash register turned into a personal piggy bank for someone. The register sits behind an 8th-floor counter where property taxes are paid among other things. Since 2007, $310,000 in cash went missing from that register. The report also says 40 percent of all the cash that went into the drawer went missing over three years. In fact, in 2007 through 2008, every penny that went into the cash register went missing. It was not found out because the department, according to the Auditor General, has no effective citywide cash management policy. The city operated like a child's lemonade stand. Everyone dipped into the till. 

This resulted in one of the city council members wondering if the whole department should be fired. Since no one answered her question, we'll assume it's still on the table as a course of action.

But back to where this ranks in the realm of pathetic control systems – sure, the quantity doesn't match Sue Sachdeva or Rita Crundwell's (allegedly!) hauls but when two full years of cash simply walks off, directly out of the register and no one says anything or notices…that's…that's something special.

Audit shows Detroit Finance Department is missing more than $310,000 [WDIV]

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