Los Angeles City Controller Wendy Greuel reported January 12 that untimely approval of permits by the City's Bureau of Street Services for advertising on "street furniture" (bus stops, newsstands, public toilets, etc.) led to $23.1 million in lost financial opportunity for the city.
In her audit of the city's contract with CBS Decaux, Ms. Greuel warned that an additional $57 million could be lost if city officials do not pursue a contract amendment to resolve outstanding issues.
"This issue needs to be taken up immediately," the controller said. "During these difficult economic times, it is unconscionable to leave $57 million on the table when that funding could otherwise be used for funding essential services."
The CBS Decaux contract, originally executed as a 20-year agreement in January 2002 by the Board of Public Works, was intended to generate approximately $150 million in revenue for the city. The audit reveals that through the first 10 years of the contract, the city could have received at least $53 million in revenue, but realized only $29.9 million due to the methodology used to calculate annual fees paid to the city and delays in approving site permits.