Statement: “In total, the City Auditor’s Office identified $7,425,271 in potential monetary recoveries and cost savings for the City, which equates to $3 in potential savings for every $1 of audit costs,” wrote Eduardo Luna, San Diego auditor, in a memorandum to City Hall’s audit committee.
Determination: Mostly True
Analysis: “Potential” is the key word in the statement we’re evaluating. The city of San Diego’s auditor and his staff have indeed recommended hundreds of changes in the way the city does business.
But the auditor does not actually get to make those changes himself. And, in fact, the mayor and city staff have only fully implemented 89 of the 361 recommendations that the auditor has made since 2008. Many of them have sat ignored for more than a year. Twenty-two have been partly implemented.
“Unfortunately we have no power to force the administration to implement any of these,” said Chris Constantin, the auditor’s audit manager.
The mayor, on the other hand, does have this power. I asked his office for a response and they declined.
So while the auditor’s statement that these potential savings and recoveries are worth three times what his office costs to run, we need to keep in mind that only one-third of his recommendations are being implemented. You can see all of those recommendations here.
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— SCOTT LEWIS