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This letter highlights the importance of enforcing the City of New Orleans (City) short-term rental regulations. This letter will also address the potential for the City to collect a significant amount of money from fines for short-term rental violations. The Office of Inspector General’s (OIG) concern with the City’s ongoing short-term rental issues is primarily focused on the City’s lack of enforcement of its own short-term rental regulations. If implemented effectively, the City’s new plan to quadruple the number of City workers dedicated to short-term rental enforcement could vastly increase the number of violations brought up for administrative hearings, deterring illegal short-term rentals.

For the 12 illegal short-term rentals identified by the OIG, the auditors reviewed all nights booked for the year ending on December 31, 2022. Per the terms of the above-described ordinance, the City may be able to levy and collect a minimum fine of $500 per night, which could result in fines of at least $519,500 for the year 2022

he City of New Orleans Office of Inspector General (OIG) conducted a performance audit of the City of New Orleans’ (City) Department of Safety and Permits (S&P). The objective of the audit was to determine if S&P inspectors (City inspectors) conducted their inspections in accordance with S&P policies and procedures. The scope of the audit was all building, mechanical and electrical permit inspections conducted by City inspectors during the period April 1, 2019 through March 31, 2020.

The audit resulted in the following major findings:

  • City inspectors did not perform in-person inspections for 20% of the inspections selected for review
  • City inspectors did not spend adequate time conducting inspections, spending ten minutes or less for 40% of the inspections reviewed.
  • City inspectors did not upload required documentation into LAMA in violation of S&P policies and procedures.

The Office of Inspector General for the City of New Orleans (OIG) conducted an evaluation of the Department of Property Management’s (DPM) Job Order Contracting Policies and Procedures.

Job Order Contracts (JOC) are a multi-layered procurement mechanism in which the City contracts with one or more general contractors to perform small maintenance and repair jobs on city properties.  The individual repair jobs may not exceed the value of $150,000 per job; however, the total of these projects over the course of a year could be more than $1M.  The DPM was the primary City agency responsible for managing the JOC program.  On average, the DPM spent $2.6M per year on projects between 2017 and 2019.  The total cost of the DPM’s JOC projects for the period under review was $7.7M.

The purpose of the OIG’s evaluation was to determine whether City departments were utilizing the JOC process efficiently and effectively, and in accordance with City policies and state law.  Evaluators also determined whether there were adequate internal and external controls in place to safeguard the procurement process.

CITY OF NEW ORLEANS ASSISTANT CHIEF MECHANICAL INSPECTOR PLEADS GUILTY TO USING AN INTERSTATE FACILITY WITH INTENT TO CARRY ON UNLAWFUL ACTIVITY

NEW ORLEANS, LA – The U.S. Attorney’s Office announced today that BRIAN MEDUS, 44, of Covington, pleaded guilty as charged to violating Title 18, United States Code, Sections 371 and 1952(a)(3), conspiracy to use an interstate facility with intent to carry on unlawful activity.

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