BUCKLE-UP: HERE’S HOW SCARY THE SHREVEPORT AUDIT TRULY IS


… Posted: Wednesday, October 9, 2019 … 12:07 P.M. …

BUCKLE-UP: HERE’S HOW SCARY THE SHREVEPORT AUDIT TRULY IS

For any who may not know, the (Downtown) Rotary Club of Shreveport has proclaimed and projected the voice of our city’s establishment for 105 years.

No surprise, therefore, that Mayor Adrian Perkins went there yesterday to promote his $186,000,000 bond issue.

Notably, we now learn, Perkins made it clear that he does not like opponents of his possibly disastrous op. As KTBS News reports it …

… “In closing, Mayor Perkins urged the crowd to tune out naysayers.

‘There will be a lot of people in our community that will talk negatively about the bond, and pretty much anything you can imagine. But don’t let them set the course for the future of our city. You that are engaged, that participate in civic organizations such as the Rotary Club, and participate in events like this where you can get information on how to make a better Shreveport for your family, for future generations, you set the course for this city.’”

In other words, those of us who oppose this deepest-ever dive into city debt are not only “naysayers,” we are community scofflaws … not “engaged” … guilty of failing to “participate in civic organizations” … and not working to “make a better Shreveport.”

Perkins’ does not tolerate any form of opposition.

Regardless, and as if in reaction / response to him, the gods of Reason and Responsibility delivered to me the precisely proper – albeit downright scary – response.

Yesterday afternoon, a trusted, experienced and highly qualified source shared with me his take on the city’s newly-released financial audit from Carr, Riggs & Ingram. The firm, along with our Louisiana Legislative Auditor, last week issued details of our city’s perilous financial condition.

This source, who responded in confidence, is a career auditor who grew up in Shreveport and cares what happens to it. He has long worked elsewhere for a prominent, highly successful multi-state corporation. Here are his conclusions:

1. On Page 197 of the 254-page Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) are these ratings for internal (financial) control issues …

… Material Weakness
… Significant Deficiency
… Deficiency

2. Almost unbelievably, the Shreveport audit detailed a total of 27 such “deficiencies” …

… 2 deficiencies
… 6 “significant” deficiencies
… 14 “material weaknesses”
… 5 issues related to compliance or misappropriation

3. “Material weakness” deficiencies are by far most serious. This auditor notes that 1 (a single) “material weakness” might be expected … yet this audit found a stunning 14.

4. These findings “basically indicate that the (City’s) internal control environment is conducive to fraudulent activity.”

5. A specific audit finding which stood out to this source is the City “… not doing bank reconciliations timely and not being able to provide support for reconciling adjustments that were made.”

I take that last one to mean “cooking the books.”

We must note that our mayor actually said in yesterday’s speech that his $186,000,000 bond issue is necessary …

… “to make a better Shreveport for your family, for future generations”.

Worse yet, Perkins made that declaration even after learning that Shreveport – with a plunging population, particularly of taxpayers – ended last year $1.054 billion in debt … no longer able to manage its finances.

Nowadays in Shreveport, there is no greater civic calling than to be a naysayer.

© 2019 Elliott Stonecipher … ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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