New Hamilton-wide cash-handling policy aims to prevent fraud
Employee accused in 2013 of defrauding the city of more than $1 million since 2005
A new city-wide cash-handling policy aimed at avoiding fraud will be considered at a committee meeting later this month.
Coming seven months after the city fired an employee over a missing $1 million in city cash, the proposed policy contains 18 standard-control procedures that include calls for strict receipt documentation, secure storage and frequent deposit. It also outlines chain of custody, refund policies and post robbery procedures.
The proposed policy applies to all city departments that accept cash on behalf of the city. Those who collect revenues for the city — from employees and volunteers to contractors and business partners — will be subjected to the proposed change.
Staff who fail to comply with the policy will face disciplinary actions, according to the proposal.
- City worker at centre of fraud investigation collected rent payments: farmers' market vendors
- City says missing $1M likely came from several places
The city's cash-handling process was put under the spotlight last year after the dismissal of a city worker who was suspected of defrauding the city of more than $1 million. An employee in the finance and corporate services department was suspected of stealing $1,058,235.20 since 2005.
One of the city agencies targeted in the fraud was the farmers' market, where the city employee was responsible for collecting rent money from vendors who chose to pay in cash.
After the firing, the city's auditor launched a review of the cash-handling policies.
The city currently doesn't have a corporate-wide cash handling policy. However, many departments have developed their own policies to control cash, which will need to be reviewed and possibly amended if the proposed policy is approved.
The proposed policy will be considered by the Audit, Finance and Administration Committee on Feb. 20.