Posted by: oatmealbear | December 12, 2009

There’s a Yeti in My Invoices

On today’s edition of “No One Can Do Anything Properly,” the city controller for Los Angeles announces that the city happily pays its bills too early. “But wait,” you might say.  “Doesn’t this demonstrate proactive goodwill?  After all, the city is reinforcing its civic credibility by covering its expenses ahead of time.”  Negative, my misguided non-friend.

City Controller Wendy Greuel said the city could save as much as $8.1 million a year by paying its bills closer to their due date.

“It is financially strategic for an entity to pay its bills as late as possible so it can allow its money that has been invested to continue to accrue,” Greuel said.

The city’s general policy is to pay its bills within 30 days of the invoice or within 30 days of receiving goods or services.

However, an audit revealed the city actually pays its bills 10 to 20 days early, depleting its invested funds.

Which is worse, to act out of ignorance or to know and act like a muppet anyway?  The city has general guidelines, but naturally those pushing the buttons are too inept and/or clueless to follow them.  Take into account that this irresponsibility comes at a time when California is collectively fighting to keep its budgetary head above water and simultaneously hemorrhaging jobs like its going out of style.

Perhaps even more fiscally sickening for taxpayers is the city’s buying practices:

A separate audit showed the city fails to get volume discounts. It purchased hundreds of thousands of goods in fiscal year 2008-09, but received a volume discount in only 32 percent of its contracts.

Anyone who has worked a day in their life and had to purchase anything understands this basic concept: bulk means discount. Discount means good.

“To weather the current economic downturn and budget deficits, the city simply must act more like an efficient and effective business.”

As opposed to their current model, in which the city staggers through the tundra like a drunken yeti on roller blades. Sloth, laziness, and sheer incompetence: the three noble pillars of government.

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