Columbus – Privately contracting for solid waste collection and street sweeping could save the City of Cincinnati Public Service Department more than $2 million annually, according to a performance audit released today by Auditor of State Dave Yost.
An additional $1.7 million could be saved by reducing overtime, sick leave and staffing levels.
“Saving 8 percent of your budget is significant,” Auditor Yost said. “When you can buy good quality services at market price, that benefits taxpayers.”
Contracting with local businesses would save more than $1 million in solid waste collection and at least $930,000 in street sweeping costs.
The audit also recommended eliminating 3.5 supervisory positions in facility management and 10 positions in the Traffic and Roads Operations Division to bring productivity in line with peers, and reducing sick leave and overtime to applicable benchmarks, including state averages and industry standards. The total department budget is approximately $47 million.
Yost commended the city for requesting the audit and seeking greater efficiencies. The audit noted two current city practices as noteworthy accomplishments: purchasing salt and fuel at better rates than comparable governments, saving more than $1.3 million.
Non-financial recommendations included improving strategic and capital planning, implementing division-specific training to reduce workplace injuries and improving documentation of snow and ice removal.
A full copy of this performance audit can be found online.
The Auditor of State’s office, one of five independently elected statewide offices in Ohio, is responsible for auditing more than 5,600 state and local government agencies. Under the direction of Auditor Dave Yost, the office also provides financial services to local governments, investigates and prevents fraud in public agencies and promotes transparency in government.