A recent audit found that the city of New Orleans did not have adequate purchasing and accounts payable controls in 2009 – the period under review – according to the Times-Picayune. A city expenditure audit carried out in May 2010 supported the findings by uncovering "payments made for goods that had not been received as well as payments made for invoices that lacked proper documentation."
A variety of problems were uncovered by the accounts payable audit, including an outdated computer ledger system and the fact that personnel cuts often resulted in the same employees placing orders for goods and then receiving them, which created a window of opportunity for theft. The paper also reports that two city officials were found to have been given the authority to both initiate and authorize purchases, which introduced error- and fraud-related risks.
The audit solutions recommended by the report included an overhaul of accountability and a reduction in the opportunity for fraud, abuse and waste.
Elsewhere in Louisiana, an accounts payable recovery audit found that the city of Alexandria's housing authority owed more than $900,000 to vendors. The agency, which uses federal money to subsidize housing for the poor, had not updated its ledger since June of 2010, according to the Alexandria Town Talk.