Only five of City Auditor Sharon Erickson's 93 recommendations were implemented during the last fiscal year, which ended June 30.
Erickson said usually 20 or 30 recommendations are implemented by Palo Alto city staff members each year.
Erickson admitted that some recommendations take longer to enact than others, but "there are a lot of other recommendations we were anxious to see progress on."
"I would hope that attention would be paid to these recommendations," Erickson said. "We can issue audit reports that provide a wonderful analysis, but if they're just put on the shelf, it doesn't make any change."
She said she is willing to drop recommendations that are unfeasible or work with city staff members to solve the original problem in a different way.
The city's Finance Committee, which reviewed the 60-page report last week, asked for city staff to return to the committee in December with a response.
That was the first time council members have asked for staff to respond formally to Erickson's annual report, Finance Committee Chair Jack Morton said Monday.
But for Morton, the city's failure to implement many of the recommendations wasn't disturbing.
"I didn't see any particular difference (this year)," Morton said, adding that he believes progress on each recommendation should be judged individually.
Erickson's recommendations, issued between 2001 and 2007, stem from the periodically released audit reports, which are intended to improve the city's efficiency and cost effectiveness.
Recommendations that have not been enacted include consolidating code enforcement within one department, consideration of the effects of waste reduction on the landfill's anticipated 2011 closure and analysis of outsourcing parks maintenance at school facilities.
The report also includes four recommendations from 2003 that aim to reduce the amount of overtime generated in the Fire Department, which haven't been started yet.
During the last fiscal year, Fire Department overtime cost $1.86 million out of its $21.7 million budget, according to Lalo Perez, assistant director of Administrative Services.
That was within the department's budget, Perez said.
Fire Chief Nick Marinaro was out of town Monday.
The five completed recommendations include the Utilities Department's improvement of timekeeping procedures and the Public Works Department's creation of the fees and procedures related to street-surface work.