$20M in equipment missing from Philadelphia agencies

Auditors say the city of Philadelphia has lost or misplaced so many items — ranging from cell phones to copiers — that together the missing equipment adds  up to about $20 million of dollars.  As a consequence, offices are getting more serious about their inventory.City Controller Alan Butkovitz said the health department is one example of a city agency with a long list of missing goods. About $46,000 worth of items are missing from its inventory.  “Five out of six items couldn’t be located at the Department of Public Health which included copiers and PCs, which is alarming because of how easily these items could walk out of a workplace,” he said.Butkowitz said the health department isn’t the only place where things are missing in city government.”We do see a recurring pattern on this inventory issue.  The city has a printout of over $20 million of inventory items that it titles ‘items that cannot be located,’ ” he said.One city employee was recently prosecuted and convicted of selling city-issued cell phones, Butkovitz said.  He said city agencies vow to tighten their inventories especially now as the city is counting every penny.

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