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Operational Audit Approved For 10 New London Departments

Audit to focus on finances in recent fiscal years

The City Council unanimously approved an operational audit for 10 municipal departments on Monday.

The council accepted by roll call vote a one-time expenditure of $31,500 from the Veolia Water revenue account to have J.H. Cohn LLP conduct the audits. The measure also has the company design and implement a monthly financial close process and recommend improvements and modifications to current financial reports.

Auditor Ron Nossek previously said the audit will focus on the 2011 and 2012 fiscal years. The process will also include an analysis of areas such as general accounting practices and how overtime is approved.

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Finance Director Jeff Smith suggested the operational audit on Sept. 4, saying the city should focus on determining the reasons for overspending in the three departments where it was most prominent: the New London Fire Department, the New London Police Department, and the Department of Public Works. On Sept. 25, the Finance Committee unanimously recommended that the operational audit also include the Finance Department, Personnel Department, former city manager’s office, mayor’s office, Recreation Department, Water and Water Pollution Control Authority, and Office of Development and Planning in the audit.

In recent months, some councilors and residents have advocated a more in-depth forensic audit to determine fiscal patterns in the city over the past several years. Smith has cautioned against such an approach, saying it could cost over $1 million, but said a forensic audit would be advisable if the operational audit uncovers evidence of fraud or other malfeasance.

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Concerned Citizen October 02, 2012 at 10:12 AM
Concerned Citizen I am surprised that a monthly close of the operational budget is now being discussed. A budget as large as NL should have implemented this accounting practice. As a individual, I reconcile my finances monthly. We need a internal audit. That is just good business practice.
Greg Bryant October 02, 2012 at 11:23 AM
Thomas, They do it that way so that they can continue to play games with the money. Been going on for too long. None of these players would ever do their personal finances in such a manner. When it is not their money and when there is no accountability they do as they wish.
Spencer October 02, 2012 at 01:29 PM
Personally---I do not think Ron Nossek should do this audit. He has apparently been doing our 'end of the year' audit for some time now--and he haven't seen anything that would lead to the problems we have this year??? Oh heck no!! I think we need fresh eyes to look at this--or maybe a whole team of CPA-s but they come from different offices--this will give a genuine quality and I think proficient audit to be done. You can't have the audit done by someone who seen the books--and didn't allow for us to see the future when he look!
Luis Smart October 02, 2012 at 03:04 PM
Good point spencer, the same firm will likely get the same results, what is wrong with this picture? If they do discover something the question would be why did they not discover it before?
Spencer October 02, 2012 at 03:35 PM
I was also thinking of the probability of the entire Business Management/Finance Management/CPA-s senior classes--or at least a group of them who may want to do an internship--SOMETHING THAT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE PAID FOR AT ALL BY the tax payers--and yet--the people involved would be both eager and hungry to take on such an ambitious project--just because of the opportunity for top of the line experiences that can evolve from it. Just think what type of jobs opportunities this young people would have when they can put down the fact that they helped audit an entire City!!?? Dreaming--yeah--I know--ohhh but just think of the results of such a dream coming to life!

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