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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Controller Meg Holland: Bethlehem Needs to Improve Collections

Have you ever read a Controller's report? Even when a massive fraud scheme is being described, I nod off after about three pages. I can't help it. I'm a Democrat.

Fortunately for me, Bethlehem Controller Meg Holland's was very succinct in noting that the Christmas City is too lax in collecting money owed. Through the simple expedient of a document called the "second notice," she was able to bring in $136,000 in just one week.

I'm very familiar with second notices myself. I get them all the time.

Here's what Holland told Bethlehem City Council.

Over the past few weeks my department has reviewed the City’s outstanding miscellaneous accounts receivable balances. Based on the review, I determined that each department completes its own billing and most departments did not complete any re-billing for outstanding balances. Several of the miscellaneous accounts receivable balances were outstanding for over 90 days and some for over a year. In one week with re-billing, we were able to collect approximately $136,000 to date of the outstanding miscellaneous accounts receivable, that would have otherwise gone uncollected.

The problem with miscellaneous accounts receivable was brought to my attention when I was given a contract renewal to sign for a towing company. To my dismay the same towing company had not paid the City for 2009 towing, therefore I held the contract renewal and informed the vendor that I would not sign the renewal until their unpaid balance was brought current.

My department is in the process of instituting collection and re-billing procedures for all departments to alleviate the problem from happening in the future.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

now take at look at the rest of the books. are bills being paid? look now before the auditors do? expose the lies and corruption, the smoke and mirrors. why doesn't anyone tell the truth?