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Palo Alto City Council City of Palo Alto Palo Alto, CA 94301 Cc: James Keene, PAUSD BoT

Subject: On-line Posting Of City Credit Card Use Elected Council Members: The following article, and data, obtained (presumably) by a Public Records Request to the City of Sacramento government, was published on the Sacramento Bee Web-site recently------------
September 4, 2012

Sacramento city credit cards: 48,000 purchases, $9.6 million

It's a lot to digest, but here's the list of the 48,000 or so purchases made on city-issued credit cards going back to 2007. I waited until today to post the data so that The Bee's data guru, Phillip Reese, could create a searchable document - and so that the data wasn't lost in the Labor Day Weekend doldrums. City officials have cautioned not to jump to conclusions when examining the records, arguing that some purchases that look questionable - alcohol purchases, trips - actually have reasonable explanations. Regardless, City Manager John Shirey acknowledged city workers have used the credit cards too much and that he plans to scale back the amount of cards issued.

Search city credit card purchases Three ways to search ... Choose only one ... Pick a department...

--------------------OR----------------------Enter the name of the company being paid

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--------------------OR----------------------Leave everything blank and hit search to see all purchases

Online Database by Caspio

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t Human Resources Parks


Purchase Date 8/19/2011

Vendor Name TOXIC MAIN/US EPA FEES IS INC 1700 916-920-

Amoun t $5,165

DescriptionNotes Hazardous Waste Removal Annual Fee

J.P TINDELL 6/30/2009

$4,935 Technology-Training classes INS Inc. $4,888 Equipment - Pedestrian Module LED $4,603 Blackberry Software Maintenance $4,572 Polo shirts $4,547 Safety Equipment $4,500 Computer Equipment

Transportation JACK 4/28/2009 WYSCARVER Information Technology Police Human Resources Information Technology Parks KARL ROSANDER DANA MATTHES KEN SALISBURY IGNACIO ESTEVEZ TIM HOLLAND 8/17/2007 6/29/2012 6/6/2012


10/31/2007 VMWARE INC 3/27/2008

FURNITURE CONCEPTS $4,500 45 New bunk beds and 90 corresponding mattresses for Camp Sacramento WAVE TECH. INC. WAVE TECH. INC. DMI DELL K-12/GOVT 4IMPRINT $4,497 IT Services/Maintenance $4,497 IT Services/Maintenance $4,455 Computer Monitors $4,423 Supplies for Federal Juvenile Assistance Block Grant (JABG) $4,352 Office Chairs $4,222 Safety Equipment $4,035 Safety Training

Information Technology Information Technology Human Resources Police


8/18/2008 8/18/2008 6/8/2012 7/12/2012

Human Resources Human Resources Human

6/29/2012 6/22/2009 5/30/2012


Resources Information Technology Community Development


HEALTH NEXUS IS INC PPI2PASS.COM ETRANSTECH, LLC $4,009 Telecommunications Equipment $4,000 Training Registration for 45 employees $4,000 Equipment - plotter cutter

ANGELINA M 1/4/2008 DE LA ROSA 6/25/2011 5/16/2011 4/26/2012

Transportation THOMAS W WEBBER Economic Development Economic Development Information Technology Utilities Community Development Information Technology KATRINA MORGAN JAMES R RINEHART

GES $3,997 ICSC Conference EXHIBITIONS&EVENTS Exhibition Booth GES $3,950 ICSC Conference EXHIBITIONS&EVENTS Exhibition Booth $3,950 Employee Training IS INC 1700 916-920$3,938 Puncher & dies $3,899 Paint - Graffiti Program $3,896 Computer Equipment purchase $3,758 Travel - Conference Cap-to-Cap

JAMES BERG 9/24/2008


3/20/2010 4/28/2009


JAMES BERG 2/13/2011 1/23/2008 of 2211

Transportation KAREN SHIPLEY Page

Records 1-25 of 55263 Online Database by Caspio

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----Discussion Recently, the City of Palo Alto has recently launched an Open Data web-site, which it claims is supposed to make available data to the public which as heretofore been either unavailable, or hard to get. From reviewing this effort, one can only ask: Wheres the Beef? There is virtually nothing of value on this web-site, raising so many questions as to the purpose of the effort, and the cost of maintaining this site. The acquisition of the Citys credit card use is being offered to the readers of the Sacramento Bee as a public servicepresumably to justify peoples reading the Bee. This data is currently not being offered to the public by the City of Sacramento. Given that there has been credit card fraud/abuse at every level of government over the years-'Purchase Cards: Steps Taken to Improve DOD Program Management, but Actions Needed to Address Misuse: OMB Gets Tough on Misuse of Government Credit Cards: Federal Credit Cards Misused: Government-issued credit card Abuse: SCHOOLS: (PAUSD) School credit card use questioned: citizens everywhere, who are naturally concerned about detecting and stopping all fraud/abuse in government, might naturally wonder why this information is not normally available to the public via the governments web-sites? Since it is difficult to believe that all of the Palo Alto government employees credit card expenditures are not on the computer, it would seem to be a very simple task to export this data in a format that is readily imported by a web-based database manager (such as MySQL, or MS SQL), so that Palo Alto residents could have access to this sort of data, as do readers of the Sacramento Bee. This data should also be available in multiple formats, such as .cvs and .xls, which are often available from Federal, and State, web-sites archiving data. Residents, and interested parties, should be able to easily download this data, and create their own databases for continued analysis of employee credit card purchases. In this day and age, one would like to believe that the Finance Department, and the Office of the City Auditor, using the power of the SAP software, would have created monitoring capabilities that identify questionable expenditures as quickly as these transactions are reported by the Credit Card companies. However, given the low level of transparency into these departments for residentsthere is no evidence that this continuous monitoring of Credit Card purchases is actually on-going. Having this data available to the public would offer taxpayers the opportunity to perform a non-governmental review of the data, which might reveal abnormal purchases, or patterns of purchases, not found by internal monitoring. While the Sacramento Bee is to be complimented for its recognition of a need for more sunshine, where the use of public funds is concerned by the City of Sacramento, this need is universaland should not be available only to the readers of large, regional, newspapers. This kind of information should be available to the residents/taxpayers of every governmental agency in California. While this goal might be achievable only if the

State Legislature were to require this kind of on-line disclosurelocal governmental agencies, like the City of Palo Alto, clearly have the financial, and technical, resources to make this sort of data available on their Web-sites. Conclusion Given the recent claim to supporting Open Data by the City Manager, it is strongly suggested that this sort of data be made available to Palo Altos residents as soon as possible. Wayne Martin Palo Alto, CA