San Jose Could Save Millions by Tackling Audit Findings

San Jose faces nearly 300 open audit findings that could save the city millions of dollars if resolved.

The City Council on Tuesday will hear a report from resident auditor Sharon Erickson, who found 296 pending recommendations. Six of those could potentially settle legal disputes and 18 could save the city at least $13 million. Many date back to audits from five or six years ago.

An audit in 2011 found that the city needed to collect about $148,000 in overpayments for unused sick leave. While most of it was collected, the city in December assigned an attorney to track down the rest.

An audit a year late, which called for an overhaul of the San Jose Police Department’s oversight of off-duty police work, issued 30 recommendations. The department followed through with five, partially resolved 19 and has yet to tackle six of those directives.

Most of the proposals in a 2014 audit of San Jose libraries have been resolved or at least addressed. Some of those changes include going cash-free in all branches and adjusting hours and staffing to keep up during the busiest days and hours.

Erickson’s office issues several audits a year to heighten efficiency and save money. Every six months she brings the council up to speed on all open recommendations. Since the last report, 45 recommendations were enacted or closed.

For example, San Jose recently reached an agreement with its unions on cost-saving measures for the city’s two retirement systems. Also last year, the city assigned more responsibilities to its library volunteers to help staff.

But a considerable amount of work remains, Erickson said. The Department of Transportation has yet to find enough money to maintain roads and shrink the backlog for repaving the city’s worst streets. There’s a chance some of that could be addressed by a citywide or countywide sales tax heading to the ballot later this year.

The city’s IT department continues to work on 10 recommendations from a 2012 audit to improve general controls. Meanwhile, the city’s customer service arm has yet to close out 20 recommendations.

To view the entire 208-page report, click here.

More from the San Jose City Council agenda for March 22, 2016:

  • A developer wants to build a 261-room hotel in Alviso. Mayor Sam Liccardo and three council members—Vice Mayor Rose Herrera, Manh Nguyen and Johnny Khamis—said that’s fine, as long as they put up $50,000 for wetland restoration and flood protection.

WHAT: City Council meets
WHEN: 1:30pm Tuesday
WHERE: City Hall, 200 E. Santa Clara St., San Jose
INFO: City Clerk, 408.535.1260

Jennifer Wadsworth is the former news editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley. Follow her on Twitter at @jennwadsworth.


  1. > San Jose faces nearly 300 open audit findings that could save the city millions of dollars if resolved.

    > Six of those could potentially settle legal disputes and 18 could save the city at least $13 million.

    Free money!

    So much money, in fact that the City can cancel the stupid sales tax increase which is intended to goose the tax payers out of a mere $40 million.

    1. Implement audit findings: $ umpteen million.
    2. Settle legal disputes, $13 million
    3. Cancel homeless hotel project, $1.4 million
    4. Stop spending on “global warming”, $ umpteen million
    5. End “sanctuary city”, $ umpteen million
    6. Collect overdue library fines, $6 million
    7. Stop accepting, providing foster care, and/or resettling illegal immigrants/refugees, $ umpteen million
    8. Stop the stupid “traffic calming” and “bike lanes”, $ umpteen million (How much did it cost to paint the stupid “green bike lanes”?)
    9. etc.
    10. etc.
    11 etc.

    And, undoubtedly, there’s plenty more money to be found just be scrubbing all the little “vanity projects” promoted by “activist groups:.

    No tax increases need Just say no.

  2. Now Peralez is getting in on the junkets? When does the madness stop. Im sure District 3 citizens would love for that money to be spent on something more meaningful.

  3. But… but… a lotta this money is for us cronies! The city council will have to pull our fingers out of the city’s pockets!

    Can’t have that, can we? There must be another way. Lemme think…

    OK, how about this: We raise taxes! Then everyone is happy! …Well, everyone but the chumps who have to pay more taxes. But who cares about them, eh? We’re your real pals! Really.


    (That was only about half sarcasm)

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