Philadelphia’s controller intends to clamp down on city employees who skirt spending-report requirements by dipping into petty cash.
Controller Alan Butkovitz said he’s seen it happen repeatedly, as city workers break down bigger expenses into $500 chunks so they can be covered with replenishable petty cash funding.
“One example was fleet management where they chopped a $2,000 E-ZPass charge into four $500 bite sizes,” he said.
Still, Butkovitz said, he doesn’t want to cut the amount of petty cash available to the city’s operating departments.
“Inflation is a factor over time and, in some instances, the city rules are too burdensome to deal with emergencies so if we got people down to $100 in petty cash, it might be impossible to deal with certain urgent items,” he said.
The controller says a re-education program is underway to deal with the problem.