Butkovitz 'deeply concerned' about mail mismanagement
Earlier today, City Controller Alan Butkovitz announced findings from an investigation of the City of Philadelphia’s Main Distribution Center that uncovered large amounts of mail that was not being processed, including court notices, fines, tax, bills, water bills and parking violations.
During one instance, Butkovitz’s team of investigators found an estimated 4,000 water bill notices that were still stored in the mail Center one day before payment was to be collected. These notices were requiring individuals to pay the balance by the due or be the subject of legal action.
“While our findings are part of a more in-depth investigation, we are deeply concerned with our initial discovery and we felt it necessary to report to the public immediately,” Butkovitz said in a press release.
Example of Butkovitz’s findings include subpoenas for individuals to appear in traffic court, municipal court notices, and several parking violations issued by the Philadelphia Parking Authority.
“We believe that tens of thousands of Philadelphians could have been impacted by the mismanagement in the Mail Center,” Butkovitz said.
Butkovitz added that It was found that numerous amounts of mail were processed at the 48.5 cent rate instead of the pre-sorted rate of 39.1 cents, which is what Philadelphia should be utilizing with its sorting machines.
For three mail processing runs on three separate occasions, Philadelphia incurred an excess postage of $1,218 as a result of not applying the lower postage rate.
“We anticipate that the Revenue Commissioner will take immediate actions to improve the Mail Center’s operations,” Butkovitz said.
The Mail Center is a large facility operated by several city employees under the Department of Revenue. It is responsible for gathering all city-related correspondence to Philadelphians and those doing business with the city, prior to being delivered through the United States Postal Service.
“Any findings from our ongoing work that involve a criminal matter, as was the case in our investigation of the Sheriff’s Office and Charter Schools, we will forward to the appropriate agencies.” Butkovitz said.