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Audit of Delays in Providing Notice of Sanitation Code Violations

Report Details

Report Description: 
OIG audited the Department of Law’s (DOL) process for notifying people of sanitation code violations cited by the Department of Streets and Sanitation, such as overflowing garbage containers or uncut weeds. The Collections, Ownership, and Administrative Litigation (COAL) division of DOL is responsible for identifying the owners of properties cited by DSS for such violations. Once COAL verifies the correct owner, it sends a notice of violation. The objective of the audit was to determine the average number of days from alleged violation to notification and why, in some cases, the process took more than a year. For sanitation code violations that occurred in 2016 and 2017, DOL notified property owners an average of 289 days—more than 9 months—after the alleged violation. In 63.2% of cases, it took DOL 6 to 12 months to notify property owners and, in 23.8% of cases, DOL did not provide notice until a year or more had passed. Fewer than 2% of notifications were sent within one month of the violation. OIG concluded that the average 9-month delay in notification was due primarily to DOL’s large backlog of alleged sanitation code violations. Once COAL staff are assigned a violation, it took just a few days to identify the property owner and send the notice.
Short / Alternative Report Title: 
Audit of Delays in Providing Notice of Sanitation Code Violations
Date Issued: 
Wednesday, September 4, 2019
Agency Reviewed / Investigated: 
Submitting OIG-Specific Report Number: 
18-0771
Location: 
Chicago, IL
United States
Type of Report: 
Audit
Professional Standard: 
GAO's Yellow Book, Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards (GAGAS)
Questioned Costs: 
$0
Funds for Better Use: 
$0
Number of Recommendations: 
3

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