South Tucson council weighs follow-up audit

2014-08-12T07:30:00Z 2014-08-12T20:50:50Z South Tucson council weighs follow-up auditBy Carli Brosseau Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

The South Tucson City Council may hire an auditor to check that financial controls in the city improved after a fiscal year 2013 review revealed major shortfalls.

The auditor, Kevin Camberg of Phoenix-based Fester & Chapman, presented the fiscal year 2013 findings to the council Monday night, and several members of the council voiced support for a short-term follow up.

“I do like the suggestion of doing a six-month audit,” Mayor Paul Diaz said.

City Manager Luis Gonzales promised to evaluate the options and bring further recommendations to the council.

The audit, which covered the year that ended June 30, 2013, found the city had more than a dozen problems that could lead to a material misstatement of its finances.

Some accounting deficiencies led to a restatement of figures from the year before.

Among the audit’s major findings:

  • Inadequate documentation and approval processes for purchases using city credit cards.
  • Delayed deposits of cash into city accounts.
  • Delayed reconciliation of city accounts.
  • Insufficient separation of financial duties among employees.
  • A secondary property tax that appears to violate state laws.

The preliminary review the council is considering would likely evaluate how well city employees have carried out recommendations to solve those problems. The proposed solutions are included in the document.

Gonzales emphasized that some problems are already fixed.

“This audit ended in 2013,” he said. “So it’s important to understand that the majority of this council, what you see here was inherited from the previous administration.”

Gonzales has scheduled a series of public presentations over the next couple of weeks to clarify the activities and goals of each department and introduce the city’s strategic plan.

The presentation for the finance department is set for Aug. 20.

Contact reporter Carli Brosseau at cbrosseau@tucson.com or 573-4197. On Twitter @carlibrosseau

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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