City Audit Finds Fault In Finance Department

by Categorized: Budget, Finance, Purchasing Cards, Spending Date:

You might recall Jenna Carlesso’s Cityline post on an internal audit commission report released last Monday that found policies and procedures in the city’s finance department “needed improvement.”

The city’s own auditors seem to agree. In an internal memo obtained by Cityline, Deputy Chief Auditor Craig Trujillo stated that the department did not exercise “basic management controls” in dealing with unallocated P-card charges. The full memo, emailed to city officials at 4 p.m. today, is below:

As noted in our Finance Department Procurement Card Program Audit Report #1314, at the end of Fiscal Year 2012, the unallocated P-Card charges totaled $32,384  representing about 189 transactions primarily related to the Mayor’s, Chief Operating Officer’s and Corporation Counsel’s offices.

Over the past few months, the Mayor’s and Chief Operating Officer’s offices have been working diligently to obtain the supporting documentation for the unallocated P-Card charges noted above.  Supporting documentation was either located in City Hall or obtained directly from the related establishments. They also researched each individual charge to determine the business purpose of the expenditure. If it was a business related meal, then they determined what the business purpose was and who attended the meal by reviewing related management’s emails, calendars and individual discussions with current and former management where applicable. It should be noted that Corporation Counsel informed us that they were routinely submitting P-Card documentation to the Finance Department during the Fiscal Year 2012, however it was found that the Finance Department overlooked processing/allocating the charges that were supported by adequate documentation. During May 2013, management discovered that the supporting documentation for numerous transactions including those submitted by Corporation Counsel were never processed by the Accounting and Control Division of the Finance Department under the supervision of the Finance Director, Julio Molleda. Those were later processed.  We reviewed all the supporting documentation obtained to date, 139 transactions or 74% of the total number of transactions and $25,547 or 79% of the total dollars unallocated.  The business purpose of the expenditure for the balance of the 50 unallocated/unsupported P-Card charges totaling $6,837 was explained on a spreadsheet for the Mayor’s and former Chief Operating Officer’s (see below) by the Mayor’s office after performing extensive research and, where applicable, they indicated the individuals who were in attendance at most business meals at restaurants or at office meetings where there was food catering. We reviewed the Mayor’s Offices’ explanations and they do appear to be business related and reasonable in cost. For those food related purchases where the Mayor’s Office could not determine who was in attendance, the cost was minimal. We will continue to review documentation if and when it is obtained and forwarded to us.  This entire situation with old unallocated P-Card transactions and lack of supporting documentation could have been avoided if the Finance Department exercised basic management controls.

Cityline bolded the text for emphasis.

The Courant is using Facebook comments on stories. To comment on courant.com articles, sign into Facebook and enter your comment in the field below. Comments will appear in your Facebook News Feed unless you choose otherwise. To report spam or abuse, click the X next to the comment. For guidelines on commenting, click here.