Oakdale audit turns up problems with city finances

By From staff reports

OAKDALE — Some city

finances were not properly handled, resulting in more than $31,000 in

payroll tax and credit card penalties,

deficit-spending and overpaid leave for some employees over a

two-year period, according to refiled audit reports for the


Two separate audit reports for 2011 and 2012 were released Monday after being refiled by the firm Darnall, Sikes, Gardes and

Frederick of Eunice because of misstated information in the original filings.

The reports, totaling 230 pages,

were first filed under the administration of former mayor Andrew Hayes

but contained wrong

or misleading information. The new audits found that some of the

information, including a $1.7 million grant from the Environmental

Protection Agency, was left out of the original 2011 audit filing.

The 2011 report also contained

findings dealing with late payments of payroll taxes and late payment of

city credit card debt,

both with penalties as well as overpaid vacation and sick leave

for employees, including some no longer employed by the city

at the time.

The 2011 audit also found the town appeared to be deficit-spending, a practice that was reported again in 2012 with no written

policy in place to eliminate it.

The unadjusted cash in the general fund master bank was also materially misstated as of June 30, 2011.

In addition, $43,343 payroll taxes for the entire second quarter of 2011 had not been paid as of Sept. 8, 2011. Credit card

monthly bills were also not being paid in full.

Payroll tax penalties of $18,454 and credit card penalties of $3,008 were reported for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2011.

The audit also found some employees were overpaid vacation and sick leave.

Auditors found that one individual who was no longer with the city was overpaid eight hours of vacation. Another individual

who was also no longer with the city was paid 12 hours of vacation time. Other individuals were overpaid for sick hours.

Overpayments to employees still

employed by the city have been recovered. In response to the findings,

the city said it had

experienced a change in staff between the first and second

quarters of 2011. The administration said payroll taxes will be

handled properly and a policy to address deficit spending to

include reduction in the allowed budget allocated to each department

would be implemented.

All purchase orders for expenditures over $150 will also have to have administrative approval and all revenue sources are

to be reviewed to identify opportunities for increase.

Program changes were also made on city computers to track vacation and sick leave.

Many of the same findings, including $6,340 in payroll tax penalties and $3,824 in credit card penalties were repeated in

the 2012 audit. Auditors also found assessments, as well as miscoding of items that resulted in misstatements of financial

records that auditors had to correct.

A new payroll clerk, with payroll experience, was hired in February 2012.lSFlbOnline: www.lla.state.la.us