Press Releases

Audit of Plumbing Services Contract Identifies Potential Savings, Process Improvements in City's General Services Department

January 19, 2018 -- The Office of the Houston City Controller released a contract performance audit of plumbing services performed for city facilities by American Mechanical Services (AMS) today. The audit contains six findings identifying potential savings and several process improvements in the General Services Department's oversight of the agreement.

The city's General Services Department entered into a multi-year, city-wide contract with the vendor in 2014 to provide plumbing services on an as-needed basis. Through its Property Management Division, GSD is responsible for the maintenance of the city's Fire, Police, Health, Library, and Administration facilities, including plumbing services.

The Controller's Office performance audit generated several pertinent findings, including:

  • Duplicate payments
  • Inadequate documentation to support invoice payments
  • Lack of operational oversight; and
  • No proof of plumber licensing as stipulated in the agreement.

"This audit gives the city another opportunity to streamline processes, revisit policies and procedures and, ultimately, save taxpayer dollars," said Houston City Controller Chris Brown. "During these lean budgetary times, every dollar counts - we're glad to see the audit identifies areas where the city might be able to recoup resources."

The engagement scope period of the audit included operations and transactions occurring during Fiscal Years 2015, 2016, and 2017. The primary audit objectives were to consider internal controls and processes related to compliance with key terms and conditions of the contract.

The full audit report can be found at http://www.houstontx.gov/controller/audit/reports/2018-05.pdf.