The city has formally scheduled an audit of its pothole tracking system in response to a recent investigation by Voice of San Diego.

Street repair crews use the tracking system to measure their response times to pothole complaints, and the City Council relies on that information to evaluate how much money to spend on repairs.

Last month, a VOSD analysis found widespread mistakes in the tracking system over the past four years. The errors made it impossible to independently calculate how long it took the crews to respond to pothole complaints in more than 12,000 cases.

Crews recorded hundreds of dates incorrectly. In the vast majority of cases, they reported that pothole complaints had been addressed before the city had been notified. In other instances, crews recorded their activities with illogical years, such as 1900 or 2021.

Among complaints free of mistakes, VOSD also found the city’s response times have slowed substantially. Repair crews took an average of 19 days per complaint in 2008 and about 52 days last year. And the increase was even more dramatic in northern neighborhoods like La Jolla and Rancho Bernardo.

Our findings alarmed numerous City Council members, including Kevin Faulconer, chairman of the council’s audit committee. He promised a public review of the tracking system and how to improve response times to pothole complaints. At a committee meeting Monday, City Auditor Eduardo Luna officially added the subject to a list of planned audits this fiscal year.

“We should be able to undertake that very soon,” Luna said.

Luna did not report when the audit might be completed.

To read our full investigation of the city’s response to pothole complaints, click here. The short segment below by NBC7 San Diego also explains some of our biggest findings.

Keegan Kyle is a news reporter for Voice of San Diego. He writes about local government, creates infographics and handles the Fact Check Blog. What should he write about next?

Please contact him directly at keegan.kyle@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.550.5668. You can also find him on Twitter (@keegankyle) and Facebook.

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