Process Of Rebuilding The ICA's Financial Records Slower Than Expected

Jan 30, 2017

The body created to keep an eye on Pittsburgh's finances is slow to figure out its own spending.
Credit Mark Nootbaar / 90.5 WESA

Seven months after the board of the state-appointed authority that oversees Pittsburgh’s budget fired its executive director amid concerns of financial mismanagement, the board still does not know exactly where its money was going in 2015 and 2016.

Most of the Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority’s financial records were destroyed by former Executive Director Henry Sciortino while he still held the position. After he was replaced by interim Executive Director Reynolds Clark, the firm YourCFO was hired to begin the process of piecing together the organization’s spending records.

“We’re rebuilding, basically, off the checking account, and have not found any copies of previous invoices or anything from previous years,” Clark said. “This firm, YourCFO, has done really a remarkable job of going back and rebuilding.”

Clark said he hoped that rebuilding effort would have been completed by Jan.1, but said it is taking longer than expected.

Once that process is complete, the Pittsburgh-based accounting firm McGee Maruca & Associates will begin an audit of 2015 and 2016. State law mandates the audit be completed.

“In all honesty, I’m not worrying about what happened in the past,” Clark said. “I’m worried about getting these two audits completed and then continuing to keep this running on a steady keel until the authority is no longer needed.”

The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development decided in 2013 that city could be released from Act 47 oversight based on the stability of the city’s finances. However, then Mayor-elect Bill Peduto asked to remain under the control of both the ICA and the Act 47 oversight board. It's unclear when another attempt will be made to dissolve the two boards.

“(This year), 2017 should bring for the ICA what the ICA was meant to do,” said ICA Board Chair B.J Leber. “To work closely with the leadership of the city of Pittsburgh, to work closely with our partners at Act 47 and to apply what support we can to really help strengthen the finances of the city.”

B.J. Leber also sits on the board of the Community Broadcast Center, which oversees WYEP and WESA.