News

2018-10-29
Auditor Johnson provides interactive findings map

Auditor’s Annual Report: More training will improve state financials

Santa Fe, NM – State Auditor Wayne Johnson recommends that state and local governments provide more training opportunities for financial employees throughout the state. Johnson says in an annual report released by his office that such training could greatly reduce yearly audit findings.

Johnson also recommends the adoption of model policies and internal controls for municipalities and smaller jurisdictions, as well as those additional training opportunities for budget directors, village clerks and treasurers, and finance officers from entities of all sizes throughout New Mexico.

“While we find corruption and waste all too often in New Mexico, the vast majority of our entities are trying to do the right thing and spend their valuable resources wisely,” says Johnson. “Providing better training and uniform practices throughout the state will do two things. First, it will help local agencies comply with financial requirements and reduce their yearly audit findings. Second, it will also give agency leaders greater internal controls to prevent waste and corruption when it’s happening in their agencies.”

The report includes charts and graphs that break down findings throughout the state and local entities, and includes examples of findings. 

State Auditor Wayne Johnson assembled an on-line interactive map of audit findings. Find your local entities here: 

https://www.saonm.org/findings_map

 

The annual report also says that entities formed under Joint Powers Agreements have escaped audits for years. Johnson’s office has found serious issues with such entities, like the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities and the RediNet Board. For both entities, Johnson’s office says, annual audits would likely have revealed the issues found in special audits ordered this year by Johnson.

“New Mexicans play a critical role in holding their government accountable,” says Johnson. “My goal is to provide New Mexicans with transparent and understandable information about the use of taxpayer dollars in New Mexico, as well as a compilation of possible solutions.”

Annual audits not only provide important information regarding the financial health of governmental entities, but they highlight areas where corrective action is necessary to safeguard public tax dollars and bring the agency or entity into compliance with applicable laws, rules, and regulations. The annual audits provide an independent outside review of government finances and financial practices. They are intended to be a tool to help honest administrators and policymakers improve their financial practices. They are also designed to identify dishonest practices and theft or waste of public dollars. Comprehensive annual audits are intended to provide a roadmap to best practices for state agencies and local governments. Entities are designated for special audits when the State Auditor’s office receives allegations of waste, fraud or abuse that warrant immediate review and audit.

This report contains an overview analysis of findings to identify systemic problems that exist across multiple types of entities. The recommendations contained in this report are based on the causes found and recommendations in the individual annual audit reports made by independent public accountants (IPAs), as well as recommendations from the Office of the State Auditor Office professional staff.  These recommendations are intended to provide insight for legislators, policymakers, oversight agencies, and New Mexicans so that solutions to chronic and prevalent issues, particularly those findings that are repeated year after year, can be developed and possibly adopted by the State Legislature.

 

The annual report can be found here: https://www.saonm.org/media/uploads/NM_OSA_FY_2018_Annual_Report.pdf

The Findings Map can be found here: https://www.saonm.org/findings_map