Fort Worth

Audit: Fort Worth Wasted Money on Unused Printers

Thousands of taxpayer dollars wasted, according to review

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The city of Fort Worth wasted thousands of dollars on printers and copiers it rarely used and in some cases stored in empty offices and didn’t use at all, according to an audit.

The review by the city’s own auditor found Fort Worth rented 13 copiers and printers with “zero usage” over an entire year.

Another 24 machines were used to print fewer than 10 documents a month.

Total cost: $9,060.

That may be a tiny fraction of the city’s overall budget of nearly $2 billion.

But council member Cary Moon, who chairs the audit committee, said it’s important to shine a light on wasteful spending.

"Although it's just a small amount, most likely whatever practice we have on smaller contracts is likely to be the same practice and controls we have for larger contracts,” Moon said. “We need to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars."

At the Bob Bolen public safety complex, which serves as headquarters for the police and fire departments, one printer was never used a single time, according to the audit.

Another printer, found inside the city's municipal court building, also wasn't used at all, the review found.

The audit covered the period from June 2018 to June 2019.

"Hopefully when people see this they say, ‘Hey, it's good we're looking for this stuff and we're trying to correct inefficiencies and waste,’” Moon said. “We're trying to make our practices better."

The audit recommends the city's computer department provide managers with a list of unused printers every quarter so they can be removed.

City managers agreed with the recommendation.

"We want to make sure we have good controls in place and we just want to manage our taxpayer dollars the way you or I would manage our own individual dollars,” Moon said.

Past city audits have found Fort Worth was paying for cell phones it never used and overpaid employees.

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