Financial reconciliation task force aims to prevent ‘kicking can’ to Philly’s next mayor

Former City Controller Jon Saidel wills serve as co-chairman of the task force. (Tom MacDonald/ WHYY)

Former City Controller Jon Saidel wills serve as co-chairman of the task force. (Tom MacDonald/ WHYY)

After $33 million of Philadelphia City money went missing, officials have selected a group to act as financial supervisors.

The financial reconciliation task force will do what other administrations monitor the city’s bank accounts, said Mayor Jim Kenney. Saying he will not “kick the can down the road” to another administration. Kenney maintained the problems started during the previous Nutter administration.

“Our plan is to reconcile all accounts and to put in place processes and plans to make sure this never happens again,” he said.

Former City Controller Jon Saidel, who will co-chair the task force, said the panel will work to make sure the public knows where every dollar belongs.

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“The great thing is that there will be transparency, and one of the few times we have ever seen a government where there will be transparency,” he said. “Every few weeks, we will have a meeting, and the results of that meeting will be on the city’s website.”

The unaccounted for $33 million has been whittled down to about $28 million. But the city controller recently reported $924 million in accounting mistakes on Philadelphia’s books. That money isn’t missing, but the controller calls it troubling.

The task force will coordinate the work of city agencies and outside consultants looking into the issue.  It will be made up of representatives of the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Committee, City Council, the Office of the Inspector General and others.

The office of City Controller Rebecca Rhynhart, who has been highly critical of the issues, declined to participate in the task force.

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