City audit turns up $133k in late fees

Cincinnati has been paying its utility bill late, resulting in $133,000 fees last year, an audit recently revealed.

From January 2014 through July, late fees amounted to $175,510, but a fix is on its way, according to a city memo released Wednesday.

"Not just with city government but with our own private lives we get use to doing things a certain way and we accept things and we accept things as they may be at any given time," said City Manager Harry Black

Earlier this year, City Manager Harry Black unveiled Innovation Lab, a new program designed to streamline services and save time and money.

In May and June, department heads from all major departments such as Water Works and Transportation and Engineering met with an outside facilitator to improve the bill-paying process.

"The beauty of our performance management program is that it asks questions. It examines things. It assesses things and when you do that you discover opportunities to get better or to resolve bad practice," said Black.

As a result, the late fees are expected to end. That's good news for city coffers with the average monthly late fees of $6,824 alone charged in the first half of 2015. In  July, the charges totaled $1,164.

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