Billing and Collection of Water and Sewer Service Charges - November 2004
Billing and Collection of Water and Sewer Service Charges
Released November 2004
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This audit follows up on our January 2003 report on the billing and collection of water and sewer charges. We found that the Department of Watershed Management's collection efforts do not begin quickly enough to be effective. The entire collection process usually occurs after an account has been delinquent for so long that it has little probability of being collected.
Specifically, we found:
- It took the department an average of 103 days to collect bills that are due within 15 days of the billing date.
- The Code requires services to be shut off no later than 30 days after the bill's due date, but on average shutoff on delinquent accounts took about 10 months in 2003.
- As a result, the average water and sewer collection rate was 91.65 percent from May 2003 through August 2004, compared to the goal of 98.5 percent.
- The low collection rate caused accounts receivable to increase $26.6 million (49%) between April 2003 and the end of August 2004.