City Government

Audits Should Be Routine In Government

At least three issues involving audits–or lack of audits–in Idaho governments have hit the GUARDIAN in the past few days. Readers have asked for comment.

The State of Idaho caught a couple of crooked employees embezzling funds at an obscure agency of the Agriculture Department, but there seems to be a difference of opinion among officials about the need for audits or additional safeguards. This EMBEZZLEMENT STORY ran in the Daily Paper Monday.

Despite the conviction, the GUARDIAN would like to see expanded oversight and not allow a tiny agency to run as “independent.”

At Boise City the Capitol City Development Corp. (CCDC) is set to expand its influence and control over the western portion of downtown in the area of 30th and Fairview despite the fact a long requested audit of the urban renewal agency’s finances has yet to be made public. We hear of questionable ownership and payments of parking facilities–several with significant space dedicated to private use–along with a rather high rate of expenditures for legal fees.

Also in Boise, the GUARDIAN has yet to get reasonable answers to concerns voiced by readers with regard to the practice of outfitting police cruisers at a private company in Salem, Oregon. Readers responded to a story we previously posted about a new MOTOR POOL. We have passed the concerns about purchasing procedures along to several city councilors who have also been unable to get satisfactory explanations.

It looks like the city purchasing department has violated state bid laws, but claimed it was due to a “misinterpretation of the law.” An Idaho vendor is currently working behind the scenes–obviously with vested interests in making sales–and claims there is a very urgent need for an internal audit of the purchasing department’s practices. We are not ready to claim any criminal activity, but there are certainly “irregularities” in the city agency.

Audits should be done on a timely and routine basis at all levels of government–without allegation or suspicion. Banks audit the tellers almost daily and home offices audit branches, etc. The practice is simply routine and leads to trust among depositors. Government needs to take a lesson as audits are probably well worth the investment.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. Elected officials swear to uphold the laws and constitution of Idaho and routinely violate our laws. Most of the time with some high powered legal help they call city and county attorneys.

    They know the fines, if caught, are insignificant and the media is reluctant to call them out as they will get cut off from info by a hired talking heads we didn’t elect who routinely speaks for these guys and gals.

    Public meeting laws are routinely ignored and executive session are far too frequent. Dodge, weave and deny are the operant methods of governing in the world today.

    The media is unwilling to do their job and hold these folks accountable when they step over the line of governance to corruption.

  2. The Boise Picayune
    Nov 11, 2008, 11:11 pm

    Audits? Forensic, even?

    Talk like that could lead to honesty, efficiency and accountability in government.

    You Sir are mad! Mad I say!

    Next thing you’ll be talking about those newfangled Performance Bonds.

    Damn Hippies…

  3. In state government audits are conducted every three years at every agency. Meanwhile, most of the larger agencies have full time internal auditors. Audit reports are routinely shared with the Legislature. They tend to study the reports carefully.

    EDITOR NOTE–Three years is simply too much time to let things slip through. The problem with the soil conversation case as presented was that it was not a large agency with internal auditors and it operated INDEPENDENTLY.

  4. Go, Dave! Corruption is nothing but what it is, despite talking heads and protective media.

    Taxpayers these days are a bit more sensitive than usual, considering how nationally much of the bailout money is being thrown by Paulson to bankers making 10 mil a year whose employers are enhancing bank dividends as well. And then there is AIG! Luckily, Idaho isn’t that blown away yet, but give em time……….

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