The city is trying to avoid another $1-million theft with a new set of cash-handling guidelines set for approval next week.

Members of the audit, finance and administration committee will review a new set of guidelines Monday designed to prevent another seven-figure theft like the one it discovered earlier this year.

An employee was fired from his job in June in connection with the suspected fraud, the city says. The money went missing over a period of nine years.

The new guidelines in the report, which councillors will review Monday, include:

  • That the same person responsible for collecting cash not also be responsible for opening the mail, depositing cash receipts, performing bank reconciliations, issuing invoices, or other administrative tasks.
  • That cashiers not carry out cash-handling duties for at least one consecutive week per year. This could be accomplished through mandatory vacation or job rotation.
  • That a receipt be printed from the cash register or point of sale system and given to the customer immediately upon payment.
  • That all cash payments be collected at a central location. When this isn't possible, two employees should be present.

If approved, the city will use the guidelines to create a cash-handling policy by the end of 2013.

Hamilton Police Service is still investigating the suspected theft but has not laid any charges, Const. Debbie McGreal-Dinning said.

"It takes time and it's ongoing," she said.

An accounts receivable co-ordinator lost his job in connection with the fraud. The city has not confirmed his firing, but has said the fraud led to the dismissal of single worker.