April 18, 2016

Nine audits, including municipalities, show negative results

Three school districts, five municipalities and one county received audits with negative results, the State Auditor announced Monday.

Tim Keller

Tim Keller

No state agencies received audits with either “adverse” or “disclaimer” opinions from independent auditors. The ten entities with the negative findings are placed on the State Auditor’s “At-Risk” list.

“Our tax dollars are best protected when our local governments’ financial statements are up to par and can be relied upon,” State Auditor Tim Keller said in a statement. “Audits are the most standardized and useful tool we have to reduce the chances that our public funds are misused. This list of school districts, municipalities and counties shines a bright light on which of them are reporting information that simply isn’t cutting it.”

The reasons for being put on the “at-risk” list range from $3.3 million in “unverifiable payroll-related liabilities for salaries” at Central Consolidated Schools to a lack of internal controls to process accounting transactions at the Town of Bernalillo.

Lordsburg Municipal Schools ($3.2 million in unreconciled bank statements and cash) and Roy Municipal Schools (the district “did not maintain accurate and verifiable capital asset records or take a capital asset inventory for capital assets worth approximately $2 million) are the other two school districts.

The Town of Estancia lacks “accounting record support for cash balances, capital assets and depreciation, and current year revenue and expenditure activities.” The Village of Columbus has a lack of documentation on capital assets worth $2.3 million. The Village of Wagon Mound had “lack of supporting documentation for all types of financial transactions.” These, in addition to the town of Bernalillo, each had a disclaimer of opinion.

The Village of Questa received an adverse opinion because the village “did not prepare financial statements as required.”

Harding County is the only one in New Mexico, out of 33, to have a negative result. The disclaimer of opinion came from a “lack of documentation for the amounts in the financial statements for capital assets worth $4.2 million.”

This does not include those on the list of at-risk entities because of late reports. Every governmental entity in the state is required to complete an annual state audit.

The list of those with late reports is available here. The most delinquent entity is the Yah-ta-hey Water & Sanitation District, which hasn’t had an audit since Fiscal Year 2006.