Audit Pinpoints Financial Problems at Lubbock City Hall - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

7/15/04

Audit Pinpoints Financial Problems at Lubbock City Hall

For two years, the City of Lubbock has been the center of its own financial questions. Why were there misappropriation of funds and missing money? Just recently, an audit by a top notch Dallas auditing firm, KPMG, revealed more questions for the council. Why was previous city management reporting misleading financial reports, with wrong numbers and inaccurate amounts?

Councilman Gary Boren says they may never get those answers, "Now our goal is to fix things," he said.

For instance, the audit uncovered that the city had been reporting $173 million in liquid assets. That is money the city says it has available to spend. But the audit says the city really had $34 million available. Councilman Boren says previous staff or management was making a $139 million mistake.

Boren doesn't know why this was reported. Lubbock Power & Light was also in the middle of the audit. Questions came up about why transfers were being made by the City of Lubbock when LP&L did not have any money to transfer. Boren says that money was coming straight out of the city's general fund, money generated from taxes and the fees that you pay.

Also, the audit showed the city that management had also been improperly recording day-to-day cash balances using wrong numbers.

Auditing Committee Chairman Jim Brunjes says these findings are the reason why an independent auditing firm was needed in order to protect your tax money. "I think its important to know city staff understand the rules by which we want to operate with in as we go forward," said Brunjes.

So who is being held accountable? "There are 28 employees that are no longer with the City of Lubbock, some retired, died, moveed on and we brought in new people. Brought in a new city manager and new management team."

If that wasn't enough, on Thursday, the council rejected city management's financial report for 2002-2003. Boren argues the report was inaccurate based on KPMG's investigation. Now city management has to re-do the report.

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