An audit of five city agencies found $325,000 was wasted in mileage reimbursements due to overpayments and lack of supervision, City Controller Wendy Greuel said Tuesday.
"There is troubling evidence that the city regularly overpays mileage reimbursement," Greuel said. "And, this is just the tip of the iceberg. My findings strongly indicate this could be happening in other city departments."
Greuel's review of the reimbursement sheets between 2009 and 2012 found the discrepancies in the Los Angeles Housing Department, Building and Safety, Public Works Bureau of Contract Administration, Public Works Bureau of Street Services, and the Department of Transportation.
The investigation found $110,000 in overpayments and the loss of $215,000 in cost savings.
The audit found one employee received $30,252 in reimbursements, but had put in only four mileage statements.
"Across all departments sampled, mileage statements were often incomplete or inaccurate," Greuel said. "No documentation of insurance and valid driver's licenses were found in over half the instances investigated."
Councilman Dennis Zine, who chairs the City Council's Audits and Governmental Efficiency Committee, said he plans to call all city departments in to explain their policy as well as to determine if any of the employees were disciplined.
"I want to know what the general managers and the supervisors were doing," Zine said. "And, it's disturbing that it always comes back to some of the same departments that have continuing problems. I think this is negligence on the part of the general managers.
"This is not brain surgery. They should be able to develop a system to make sure employees are appropriately reimbursed, but that they aren't ripping off the city," Zine said.