The chair of the TTC is predicting more bad news to come after two audits uncovered widespread oversight problems with the agency's fleet of support vehicles, even as Mayor John Tory says he wants to end what he calls its "culture of non-accountability."
Audits of the TTC's fleet of vans, trucks and cars and the gas cards used to fuel them found few checks and lax maintenance practices – problems raised by two previous audits in the past decade.
TTC chair Councillor Josh Colle described the findings as "troubling," especially since past recommendations appear to have been ignored. And he does not think this is the end of it.
"I don't know what the next story will be, but I think there will be more," he predicted. "And it speaks to an organization that needs to be better managed."
In response, TTC CEO Andy Byford says he has asked for the recommendations of all audits conducted since 2005 to find whether there are any others that were not implemented.
"I was not aware that we had not fulfilled the recommendations of those two audits. I did not know that," Mr. Byford said Monday.
Mr. Tory, who in his first budget as mayor is adding millions to the TTC's budget, said he has spoken to Mr. Byford and made it clear change is needed, the sooner the better.
"I said to him, look, this is evidence of an entrenched culture of non-accountability," Mr. Tory said in an interview Monday.
"We have a clear understanding, I know we do, that these are not the kinds of things I want to read," Mr. Tory said. "I'm certainly held to account for it and he knows I don't want to be answering for stuff like this."
The TTC spent close to $10-million last year on 455 support or "non-revenue" vehicles and the gas to operate them, but the new audits found few safeguards to track their use. The Auditor-General found employees filling containers with gas, vehicles rented to fill temporary needs that continued to be used for three, five, even nine years and fuel cards issued for cars that were no longer on the road. Many of these same problems were raised a decade ago by auditors and again in 2010.
"What discourages me is there was a report written in 2004 almost on exactly the same subject on how people use cards and it seems lessons have not been learned," Mr. Tory said. "I can assure you on my watch I'm going to make sure they are learned."
Mr. Tory said he is going to keep a checklist of the more than 20 recommendations in the audit and hold Mr. Byford and Mr. Colle accountable for their implementation. And he said it demonstrates there are savings still to be found at the transit agency.
"There is a full year's work ahead," he said. "I'll be asking a lot of questions."
With reports from Ann Hui and Marcus Gee