NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - A report from the New Orleans Inspector General criticizes the Sewerage and Water Board for its payment collection practices which have led to a significant number of delinquent bills.
Inspector General Ed Quatrevaux's report finds that nearly half of the payments owed to the Sewerage and Water Board were past due.
The inspector general's report looks at a three-month period in 2014 and found those delinquent accounts totaled nearly $10.3 million.
The inspector general's office says that some sewerage and water board employees and even managers were not aware of the policy for handling delinquent accounts, so they didn't follow up on the past due bills.
The sewerage and water board responded to the audit saying that collections have improved dramatically over the past five years, and it's now effectively collecting more than 98 percent of all bills.
Executive Director Cedric Grant say the sewage and water board deals with balances over $50 and 90 days old water services cut off until debts are paid. If debts are not paid in the water is not restored, accounts are sent to collection agencies.
Cedric grant also says sewerage and water board is implementing a new billing and collections system later this year.
The inspector general plans to review that process in 2018 and see if collections have improved.