Thoughts from our Mayor: DPU Performance Audit
The City of Toledo sought an independent review of the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) through a Performance Audit. A forensic audit was not considered, the sought after outcome was a report that would help facilitate operational and process improvements. The audit report compares the performance of DPU against many industry standards, something that has not routinely been done. We now have a roadmap to prioritize those areas in greatest need of improvement and the basis for implementation which includes the entire workforce.
Our approach to the Performance Audit was to engage management and labor leaders from the onset, from proposal development and consultant selection to inclusion in human resource and process discussions.
The Department of Public Utilities has been streamlined under my administration; both from a budgeting and a staffing perspective. There were 734.5 DPU employees budgeted for 2014 and 610 actual employees in December. The Department is closely tracking expenses to revenues and has eliminated ten million dollars from the 2015 budget.
A consultant was jointly hired in 2014 by my administration to address accounting questions brought to our attention just prior to my taking office. Benchmarking is critical to the future of DPU as part of our ongoing goals and objectives planning.
Schumaker made 34 recommendations to improve DPU operations; some of these are already being adopted. Focusing on safety procedures so that men and women who perform the needed work to keep our utility services flowing avoid injury is a priority. A process that will help the Department to establish new performance objectives and to measure and report out on its progress toward achieving these has been set in motion.
In addition to the Performance Audit, I have asked Director Ed Moore to provide me with a professional Business Plan for DPU by February 15. The Plan will describe how the DPU will improve its financial stability, infrastructure, and image moving forward.
We hope you will join us on January 21 at 4 p.m. when Schumaker & Company presents its Final Report at a Public Hearing in Council Chambers at One Government Center in downtown Toledo.
D. Michael Collins
Mayor, City of Toledo