.I think Ted warned the City Council on numerous occasions about these type of problems in the Finance Department. They never did get back to him, so now the Mayor must answer to the State of Florida.
You can’t make this stuff up. Unbelievable.
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How come this SNAFU was never published in the City Managers Weekly Summary newsletter, alongside that recent fake Award for Excellence within the city’s Finance Department? San Bernandino won that same award in 2011 and then declared bankruptcy.
See this Port Orange Link :
14 thoughts on “Whoops !”
Is it P.O.P. Port Orange Pride or is it P.O.P.T. Port Orange Painting The Tape?
Methinks it should be “Port Orange Hide” because they hide so much these days. If they were truly proud they would be shining the spotlight on everything not just the filtered stuff.
Pat you are right about their never get back with anything approaching substantive answers, AND that fake Finance department award of Excellence is an embarrassment by any objective measure.
The SNAFU that is Port Orange government in this instance may be summed up in one short question that i have asked on many occasions. .
Who at the City has the ability to Design, Implement and Monitor effective internal controls ???
The answer is of course NO One because the current Manager ( as did his predecessors) is running a scam on taxpayers by relying on the City’s auditors to fill that function and others all of which seriously compromises their independence.
It has been that way for years, and we have had a parade of screw-ups one after the other that will continue until we have no nonsense leaders instead of old guard excusers on the dais.
I plan on being a fair but firm no nonsense mayor who intends holding the manager and his staff to levels of responsibility and accountability commensurate with their remuneration and on par with performance expectations found in the private sector.
Shareholders demand and receive no less AND neither should the residents of Port Orange.
Port Orange Mayor
Do you remember one of the truly comic moments after the last audit when the auditors presented their views on the City’s inability to find a time clock to accurately record time on job for police and fire personnel? The auditors said if the City was having such a hard time with this particular audit finding that they would remove it from their list next year! How’s that for playing to the lowest common denominator–if you can’t meet the standards we’ll just lower our expectations. Time for an new audit firm.
Ted, have you ever heard whether Finance has ever implemented that software program into their internal controls system that the city purchased several years ago that tracks the status of contract escrow accounts and prevents over spending by red flagging these accounts and preventing such incidents like the $411,000 meter contract over spend that caused such a scandal in the media a couple of years ago? At that time the city administration indicated that with the retooling of finance personnel, they would have the expertise to implement this fail safe system that the city paid for that was just sitting on a shelf at that time. Has that software system that the taxpayers paid for been implemented in the past two years by our finance administration or is it still sitting on a shelf?
Good question Concerned citizen. The short answer is i don”t know as neither the Manager nor his Finance department exactly confides in me. .
It seems I remember an explanation at that time to the effect that the software that sat on the shelf for so long was not the right software and that they implemented some multi department manual cross check duplication to prevent such over expenditures going forward.
Nothing further has been said regarding this deficiency to my knowledge – likely in keeping with Manager Johansson’s Port Orange Hide program.
What is the real reason behind this? What it the truth?
Why hasn’t this program been implemented?
Attached is a link that explains why Jake Johanssons’s regime and management team is failing and his headed for a disastrous implosion.
Dear concerned. That was an excllant article. I only wish our city would take it to hart.
This most recent revelation of incompetency from the Florida Legislature Joint Auditing Committee is a very serious symptom of the rapidly escalating growth of the destruction of open and transparent governance that is being perpetrated on the citizen taxpayers of Port Orange by the recently hired city manager who our elected officials, by their own admission reluctantly hired, and have since expressed, directly or indirectly serious reservations for so doing. One of his first acts of blatant opaqueness shortly after coming to work here was to announce the disbanding of a long term tradition of transparency in our beloved city of shutting down the read file and bragging about doing so to employees from within the organization. In addition to this, he has retarded the process of procuring unrestricted information under the Freedom of Information Act so that citizen taxpayers have to pry this information from him in the way of obtaining emails that are over a week old. This troubling disclosure from the Legislative Auditing Committee is a classic example of information that the manager has failed to disclose to the citizens of Port Orange for over a week, and only for the diligent efforts of civic minded city activist citizen watchdogs who have dogged him for this belated information, the citizens of Port Orange would probably never know that the Finance Department has continued in its malfeasance to correct severe inadequacies in city internal controls. This seems to be consistent with the manager’s newly promulgated “Port Orange Hide” initiative that is all about painting the tape, gaging on a gnat, and swallowing a camel. What do you think would have happened if the council would have cooperated with this city manager at a recent council meeting and passed a resolution to shut down citizen participation during the council meeting? If that had happened, then the city manager’s propaganda machine, also called strategic communication, coupled with coercive persuasion would overtake the city administrative organization and city governance would rapidly become a top secret military enterprise. The most dangerous thing to him, and the vehicle that keeps that from happening is this blog right here and the efforts of those dedicated citizen watchdogs that are the vicars of open and transparent governance. We as citizens, owe a big thanks to Ted Noftall who leads the war against the current administration destroying open governance in the City of Port Orange and trampling on citizen’s first amendment rights to free speech.
Freedom of information
Everyone has the right to freedom of expression and this includes the right to seek, impart and receive information. This right to freedom of information is key to:
•achieving many other rights
Governments and public bodies hold masses of important information. They hold it on behalf of the public and should therefore:
•proactively publish information in the public interest
•provide open access to people wanting specific information.
In 1990, only 13 countries had laws which provided such access. Today, more than 95 countries (with over five billion inhabitants) have laws giving a general right to access information held by public bodies. International bodies such as the World Bank and the regional development banks have also adopted information disclosure polices.
Oxygen of democracy
The right to freedom of information is based on the fundamental premise that a government is supposed to serve the people. Information has been called ‘the oxygen of democracy’, essential for openness, accountability and good governance. Information:
•enables people to have informed opinions and to engage in full and open debate
•ensures governments are scrutinised, thereby becoming more open, transparent and accountable and delivering good governance
•enables elections to be free and fair by informing the electorate
•enables journalists and civil society to expose corruption and wrongdoing. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis famously noted, “A little sunlight is the best disinfectant.”
•enables people to access their own personal information, a valuable part of respecting basic human dignity
•enables people to make effective personal decisions, such as in medical treatment or financial planning
•facilitates the effective business practices by creating a culture of bureaucratic openness and providing information that can be useful for enterprise.
The right to freedom of information is found in Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). International bodies have recognised that:
•freedom of information is a fundamental human right
•effective laws are needed to secure freedom of information.
The UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression has covered freedom of information since 1997. In his 1998 Annual Report, the Rapporteur categorically stated that freedom of information is included in the right to freedom of expression, a statement welcomed by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC)’s predecessor, the Human Rights Commission. In 2000 the Rapporteur argued that information is fundamental to democracy, freedom, the right to participate and the right to development and set out in detail the standards for freedom of information laws.
The Public’s Right To Know: Principles on Freedom of Information Legislation [also available in Arabic, Chinese, French, Indonesian, Russian, Spanish] sets out best practices and international standards on the right to information. They include nine principles for law making:
1. MAXIMUM DISCLOSURE
•Disclosure of information should be the norm
•Anyone should be able to request information, not just a country’s citizens
•People should not have to give any particular interest or reason for their request
•‘Information’ should include all information held by a public body, regardless of form, creator, date, or classification. Public bodies include executive, legislative and judicial branches of the state, as well as public corporations and publicly-funded bodies
•Restrictions should only apply in very limited circumstances
•It should be the responsibility of the information holder to prove that it is legitimate to deny access
2. OBLIGATION TO PUBLISH
•Public bodies should be legally obliged to publish information
•Public bodies should proactively publish and disseminate information, as well as responding to requests
•The amount of information published proactively should increase over time despite resource limitations.
3. PROMOTION OF OPEN GOVERNMENT
•Public bodies should actively promote open government
•Such openness depends on challenging the practices and attitudes that protect deep-rooted cultures of secrecy: •Public officials should be trained
•Incentives should be provided,
•Annual reports documenting progress should be published
•People who wilfully obstruct access (for example, by destroying records) should face criminal penalties
•The general public should be made aware of their rights and how to exercise them (for example, through education and the media)
•Public bodies should promote better maintenance of records (in many countries, poor record keeping impedes access)
4. LIMITED SCOPE OF EXCEPTIONS
•Exceptions to the right to information should be clear, narrow and subject to strict ‘harm’ and ‘public interest’ tests
•Exceptions must pass a three-part test: •The information must relate to a legitimate aim listed in law. Lists should be clear and narrow. The Council of Europe (COE) recommends the following aims: national security, defence and international relations; public safety; preventing, investigating and prosecuting criminal activities; privacy and other legitimate private interests; commercial and other economic interests, private or public; ensuring the equality of parties in court; nature; inspection, control and supervision by public authorities; a state’s economic, monetary and exchange rate policies
•Disclosure of information must threaten to cause substantial harm to an aim (simply being included in the above list is not a legitimate reason)
•If the disclosure of information could lead to harm, any harm to the aim must be greater than the public’s interest in the information.
5. PROCESSES TO FACILITATE ACCESS
•Requests for information should be processed rapidly and fairly.
•An independent review of any refusals should be available
•The law should stipulate clear processes for applications and for decision-making by public bodies
•It is essential that there is an independent appeal body to review decisions, with the opportunity to go to court
•Requests should normally be in writing, although there should be alternative provision (for example, for blind or illiterate people).
•Individuals should not be deterred from making requests for information by excessive costs
7. OPEN MEETINGS
•Meetings of public bodies should be open to the public
8. DISCLOSURE TAKES PRECEDENCE
•Laws which are inconsistent with the principle of maximum disclosure should be amended or repealed
9. PROTECTION FOR WHISTLEBLOWERS
•Individuals who release information on wrongdoing (whistleblowers) must be protected against any legal, administrative or employment-related sanctions
•This protection should apply even where disclosure is in breach of a legal or employment requirement
•Protection from liability should also be provided to people who, reasonably and in good faith, disclose information while carrying out any power or duty under freedom of information legislation.
Hey, Jake apologized for not telling the council about this and said its a trivial matter that his dream team can handle. So since Jake said its alright, then it must be ok because Jakes dream team says we are meeting all our strategic goals. If Jake says AOK where in ship shape, then who should question military base commander Jake? This is the future of Port Orange under strategic communication and a council with either no critical thinking or a lack of nads.
Council has become every bit as sleazy as Shaky Jake in hiding information from Port Orange residents. They deserve the exact consideration city residents are getting in that bargain which is to say none. It would be altogether appropriate if Council were to learn of Shaky Jakes incompetence on the blogs through activists FOIA requests.
“Crack team” is the best laugh I have heard today as Shaky Jake also announced that he has two replies ready to go because he doesn’t have a clue as to whether this comment will be repeated or not in this year’s CAFR. If he doesn’t know the answer to this simple question maybe everything else he and his crack team doesn’t know is the reason it takes 6 – 9 months for the Auditor to straighten out their crack work every year.
This crowd of incompetents won’t know how to react to a man of principle when Ted makes it to the dais.
Should the concern be that this document was delayed or that the three year incident that it addresses may still not be fixed in the forth year?