Riverside County under microscope for how it spent $36 million, report says

Riverside County under microscope for how it spent $36 million, report says

Olivia Sandusky

Riverside County Supervisors discussed the $36.4 million spent on consulting services from KPMG at Tuesday’s meeting. 

The project began in 2015 with the goal of saving money, but a report by the Civil Grand Jury says it only provided “limited savings.”

 “I think it’s incumbent upon us, as supervisors that, quite frankly, spent quite a bit of money, to perform. And there’s, I’m sure, areas there which we can improve,” said Supervisor V. Manuel Perez, fourth district. 

Many of the officials currently in office were not a part of the project’s inception, and are now sorting out what went wrong.

In a 2018 report, the county’s executive office sayid KPMG’S suggestions led to $100 million saved between the Riverside County Sheriff Department, as well as the District Attorneys office.

However, in their report, the jury says that claim “lacks validation.”

“I’m not surprised that it couldn’t be validated, because the way that the KPMG study came out, it was supposed to be this massive transformation. It never happened. The county wasn’t willing to implement those changes,” said Riverside County District Attorney Michael A. Hestrin. “We wasted millions of dollars to get information that was already here, readily available.”

The report also found examples of major losses, such as the $8 million spent on a new software package in 2017 that was cancelled for unknown reasons.

At Tuesday’s supervisor meeting, the board approved the formation of a committee to respond to the jury’s findings.

“What are we going to do is make sure that we implement the recommendations in order for us to achieve what the initial goal was, which was cost savings,” said Supervisor Perez. 

The committee will present their own report before Nov. 10.

“We need to assure the taxpayers that this was a good investment, and if it wasn’t less fess up to it,” said Supervisor Perez. 

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