New Orleans AP audit uncovers financial reporting weaknesses

A routine audit of New Orleans for fiscal year 2010 revealed shortcomings in the city's bookkeeping system, Gambit Weekly reports.

Specifically, an accounts payable audit exposed noncompliance with standard regulations and weaknesses in financial reporting procedures that could compromise the accuracy of the city's records. The news source notes that "Major problem areas included concerns about City Hall's ability to accurately report its accounts payable – which includes amounts due to vendors under current contracts."

Other inefficiencies included the dearth of a centralized repository for city contracts, making it difficult for these to be tracked down.

"There's really no excuse in this day and age for not having them available electronically," said District B city councilwoman Stacy Head, as quoted by the news source.

Internal control deficiencies were also revealed in an audit of New Orleans' financial and administrative operations during fiscal year 2009, the Times-Picayune reports. The city was found to have bought and disposed of property, buildings, furniture and equipment without keeping records up-to-date, which New Orleans Inspector General Ed Quatrevaux noted were "opportunities for fraud." 

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