Perpetual Problems Plague PLCB

MAY 15, 2013 | by BOB DICK

The Failure of Government-run liquor stores

As Yogi Berra once quipped, "It's déjà vu all over again." Another year and another audit of the PLCB released by the Auditor General’s Office found mismanagement at the state agency. The report noted the agency is plagued by "internal control weakness over financial reporting for capital assets." (Still awake?)

In other words, the PLCB lacks any policy to label and keep track of its inventory properly. Why is this a big deal? The audit found out of a random sample of ten items, six were no longer in use, or could not be identified by PLCB employees. The price tag for these six items: $1.047 million.

The problems don’t end there. Kari Andren has more:

The audit found that the agency's internal controls over its Information Business Management System, which tracks store and warehouse inventory, agency assets and other financial details, are deficient.

• An "excessive number of users," including contractors, can add, change or delete user IDs and data. And a group of users can log in and make changes in the system under the same user ID, rather than individual IDs. The LCB does not have a policy or procedure in place to monitor the use of those functions.

• Credit card users who made purchases in state stores between Nov. 23 and Nov. 28, 2011, were charged twice because the computer monitoring did not detect a problem with the transactions. Cash-paying customers were not affected, and the LCB removed the duplicate credit card charges in March 2012.

This type of mismanagement is nothing new for the PLCB, yet opponents of liquor privatization are pulling out all the stops to prevent change.

Pennsylvanians deserve better than a wasteful, outdated government monopoly on wine and spirit sales. They deserve more choice and convenience at lower prices, which is why it's way past time to get government out of the booze business.



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