Thursday, September 22, 2011

Facilities Management Investigation Results in Referral to Commonwealth's Attorney

Mayor Dwight C. Jones announced today the results of an internal investigation the City Administration has conducted of the Department of Public Works’ (DPW) Facilities Management Operations. The investigation was pursued after the City Administration received an internal complaint warranting an assessment of operations, contracted labor, vendor payments, and equipment purchases under the management of that division of public works.

Facilities Management is responsible for maintenance of city facilities and currently represents an annual expenditure of approximately $25 million in equipment purchases and contractor costs. “We’ve found several operational inefficiencies that bring into question the credibility of the existing operation and my level of concern has led me to turn over the results of our investigation to the Commonwealth Attorney for further investigation,” stated Mayor Jones. “We have taken the necessary steps and actions to secure the operations of the division in question, but the level of discrepancies that were found and the potential overpayments that our findings uncovered warrant further investigation and potential legal action.”

“This investigative effort is reflective of the tenets I set in motion under our Well-Managed Government focus area,” continued Mayor Jones. “We have been and will continue to confront the inertia of business as usual and the findings I’m sharing with you today are part of our systematic effort to identify areas needing improvement and to implement change and improved performance throughout city agencies.”

Operational concerns identified within the division include:


· Invoices with inaccuracies, resulting in overpayments to vendors


· Purchase order number changes after invoices had been received


· Non-existent purchase order numbers being issued


· Over-usage of contract labor


· Potential favoritism of certain vendors


The Mayor explained that the investigative effort is proactive in nature and in no way interferes with the ongoing work of the city auditor. “As I’ve indicated from the beginning of this administration, we welcome the work of the auditor as it is the function of the auditor to identify inefficiencies and areas where improvement or corrective action is necessary. We want that office to continue its periodic efforts as this cooperation only furthers our well-managed government effort. We’ve been consistent in following recommendations that come out of that office as appropriate. But at the same time, there is no reason that we can’t be proactive in our own right, where possible, as the auditor does not review operations of every department annually. We seek to always operate in a way that ensures the proper stewardship of the taxpayer’s dollar.”

In an additional disclosure, again related to DPW, the Mayor revealed the interception of several thefts that had recently occurred in the department’s Operations Division. The thefts involved eight spreaders in the department's fleet which are used for the application of salt and sand during snow storms. The spreaders, which had been designated as surplus, were salvaged by two employees of the department. The employees were given the option to make full restitution in the form of payment for the items stolen and to also be terminated from city employment with an agreement not to seek re-employment with the City.

"We contacted the Commonwealth's Attorney about this matter as well, but we chose to give the employees involved an option to make restitution in exchange for sharing all information with management about any employee misconduct," said Mayor Jones. "The Commonwealth Attorney has agreed with this approach understanding that we will seek prosecution if necessary."

"On one level, it is disturbing to me that we continue to uncover such misconduct within city government. It taints the entire operation of over 4,000 employees when a few bad apples continue to make headlines," stated Mayor Jones. "On another level, this shows that we will continue to catch wrongdoers and we will continue to sniff out any operational problems that may exist and to make improvements."

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

United States of America Awarded 2015 UCI Road World Cycling Championships

Richmond, Virginia selected to host global event

Richmond, Virginia has been selected to host the 2015 Road World Championships. The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), competitive cycling’s governing body, selected Richmond after a competitive bid process that included the country of Oman.

“Richmond is thrilled to be selected to host the 2015 Road World Cycling Championships, joining a list of great cities like Madrid, Florence and Copenhagen,” said Richmond Mayor, Dwight C. Jones. “Bicycling, for transport and fitness, has been an important focus of my administration. Hosting the World Championships will help bring Richmond one step closer to being one of the world’s great bicycling cities.”

Cycling’s pinnacle event, the annual Road World Cycling Championships provide a rare opportunity for athletes to compete for their countries in both the traditional road race and individual time trial. Fans will also be treated to a team time trial competition between the world’s top professional teams. The 2015 Road World Championships will take place between September 19-27 and will feature 12 races for Elite Men and Women, Under 23 Men and Junior Men and Women.

“Securing the 2015 World Championships is the result of tremendous collaboration between civic and business leaders and strategic partners,” said Tim Miller, Executive Director of Richmond 2015, Inc., the non-profit corporation responsible for the organization, management and promotion of the 2015 Championships. “As we now enter the next phase, we look forward to expanding these partnerships to ensure that the 2015 World Championships set a new standard of excellence.”

The World Road Championships were last held in America in 1986 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. American men and women have won 13 World Championship titles in both the road race and time trial, including road race titles by Greg LeMond in 1983 and 1989 and Lance Armstrong in 1993.

Despite the fact that the 2015 World Championships are four years away, extensive planning already has begun. In addition to the 2015 World Championship events, other events and activities aimed at establishing a long-lasting legacy of bicycling in central Virginia for individuals of all ages and abilities is an important goal for the city, Richmond 2015, sponsors and strategic partners.

“Bringing the World Championships to the United States truly punctuates the outstanding state of cycling in America,” said Steve Johnson, President and CEO of USA Cycling. “From the success of American-based professional teams in Europe to our ever-growing domestic membership to world-class stage races like the Amgen Tour of California and the USA Pro Cycling Challenge; the 2015 Road World Championships is yet another milestone towards the continued growth of our sport.”

An economic impact study conducted by Chmura Economics & Analytics found that the 2015 World Championships would generate more than $135 million for the Commonwealth of Virginia and would attract nearly 500,000 onsite spectators.

To follow planning and progress on the 2015 UCI Road World Cycling Championships, visit www.richmond2015.com, like us on www.Facebook.com/Richmond2015 or follow us on Twitter @richmond2015.

About Richmond 2015

Richmond 2015, Inc is the non-profit corporation responsible for the organization, management and promotion of the 2015 UCI World Road Cycling Championships. Working on behalf of the City of Richmond and USA Cycling, Richmond 2015, its Board of Directors and its Organizing Committee organize and oversee all of the elements of the event planning, as well as manage all strategic partnerships and constituent groups in order to fulfill its mission to orchestrate the events.