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Quality of Life

Audit Reveals City Of San Diego Made Thousands Of Dollars In Over Payments To MTS

A San Diego MTS bus that runs on compressed natural gas in seen in this undated photograph.
San Diego MTS
A San Diego MTS bus that runs on compressed natural gas in seen in this undated photograph.

A city office that provides discounted transit passes to municipal employees lacked proper cash-handling and record-keeping procedures, causing the city to make thousands of dollars in over payments to the Metropolitan Transit System, according to an audit released Friday.

City Auditor Eduardo Luna found that the city's Transportation Alternatives Program lacked internal controls, leading to over payments to MTS and payments to employees who were not eligible for the program, which provides discounted transit passes to workers.

According to the report, beginning in fall 2016:

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— The program paid MTS $14,848 for transit passes that it did not order.

— The program paid $9,780 for passes it did not order but were still used by city employees.

— 33 passes worth $2,934 were sent to people who were not eligible for the program.

Managers of the transportation program agreed to all 12 recommendations made by the auditor's office to rectify the problems, according to the report. Among the recommendations are implementation of payroll dedications for the purchase of passes and creation of a process to reconcile accounting for the program.

The investigation began following a tip made to the auditor's fraud hotline. The hotline allows people to report evidence of fraud, waste or abuse involving city resources to (866) 809-3500.