Oakland, Calif. — October 15, 2012 — The Port of Oakland Board of Port Commissioners today announced actions that are underway to strengthen the Port’s expense reimbursement policies and procedures to prevent improper expenditure of Port funds.
“To enhance the detection and prevention of potential improprieties, over the last several years the Board of Port Commissioners has taken several steps to address Port expenditures, including developing and implementing new policies, and conducting an audit,” commented Port Board President Gilda Gonzales.
The Port developed a policy related to Port-issued purchasing cards in 2010, and the Port’s Audit Division initiated an audit earlier this year. Policies related to purchasing cards and travel and entertainment are already being updated with the recommendations of this audit and will be presented to the Board for further deliberation and adoption. In addition, the Port has been leading parallel efforts to update its fleet, cell-phone, and sponsorship policies, all to ensure financially responsible and proper expenditure of Port funds.
Separately, in the wake of a series of public records requests, one specific expenditure has come to light, a 2008 receipt for approximately $4,500 from a strip club. The nature of the venue is not evident from the receipt, which was for a business called “D. Houston, Inc.,” which turns out to be the corporate name for Treasures Strip Club in Houston.
“The Board of Port Commissioners takes this matter very seriously and will take whatever action is required to improve our financial oversight to ensure expenditures like this don’t occur in the future,” added Board President Gonzales.
The Board of Port Commissioners held a Special Meeting at 5:45 PM on Friday, October 12, 2012, regarding anticipated litigation related to this matter. This meeting is currently continued to 5 PM on Monday, October 15. The Board will review the matter further at its next Regular Meeting on October 18, 2012, and further announcements will be made and actions taken in the near future as the review and investigation proceeds.
Port of Oakland: The Port of Oakland oversees the Oakland seaport, Oakland International Airport, and 20 miles of waterfront. The Oakland seaport is the fifth busiest container port in the U.S.; Oakland International Airport is the second largest San Francisco Bay Area airport offering over 300 daily passenger and cargo flights; and the Port’s real estate includes commercial developments such as Jack London Square and hundreds of acres of public parks and conservation areas. Together, through Port operations and those of its tenants and users, the Port supports more than 73,000 jobs in the region and nearly 827,000 jobs across the United States. The Port of Oakland was established in 1927 and is an independent department of the City of Oakland. Connect with the the Port of Oakland and Oakland International Airport through Facebook, or with the Port on Twitter, YouTube, and at www.portofoakland.com.
The Port of Oakland Board of Port Commissioners: Gilda Gonzales, James Head, Alan S. Yee, Victor Uno, Earl S. Hamlin, Cestra "Ces" Butner, and Bryan Parker.
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