Tahlequah Daily Press

October 15, 2012

TPWA receives audit report

Staff Writer

TAHLEQUAH — An audit of Tahlequah Public Works Authority accounts and records for the 2011-’12 fiscal year reveals the agency is in “good shape.”

Arledge & Associates, PC Audit Partner LaDonna Sinning shared her firm’s audit findings in Friday’s regular TPWA board meeting .

“[TPWA] appears to be well-managed from things that we saw. Books and records are in good shape,” said Sinning. “You have good cash reserves. You’re not one of the ones – we see utility authorities within Oklahoma, where, if they have a large piece of equipment go down, they cannot repair it until they figure out where to get the money from. You very wisely held on to some reserves for emergency repairs to keep those emergencies from becoming disasters. So, I think you guys are doing a great job.”

Nothing was found to be materially unclean, meaning that information and data tracked and recorded for revenue, major programs and inventory did not present reason to believe the audit should be questioned, said Sinning.

“Our audit opinion is unqualified. That essentially is what you call a clean opinion. There are no qualifications in other words. There are no ‘except for’ or any of that kind of language in our report,” she said. “So that tells you that things were clean as far as being materially clean.”

Sinning said net assets decreased on the whole by $1.4 million or about 4 percent, and that is due primarily to the cash that TPWA was holding for the City of Tahlequah, Tahlequah Public Schools, and a couple other public school districts.

“That bond money going out the door, essentially leaving TPWA, and going to be spent by the beneficiaries of those bond issues - that’s primarily why the net assets dropped,” she said.

There was a gain in operations of about $3.4 million.

Deficiencies were observed in the general ledger reconciliation for meter deposits and inventory, but each area is being addressed by TPWA. The meter deposit questions arose from software problems, or technical difficulties, experienced when creating reports, and TPWA is currently working with the software company to correct the issue.

Sinning recommended TPWA adjust its policy, or billing process, to ensure timely and efficient response to early-refund situations when the early refund has been deemed appropriate. There was also a lack of confidence in the methods used to track physical inventories, said Sinning.

“Our recommendation for that is, over the next eight months or whatever’s left in fiscal 2013, that those areas be recounted, revalued and reconciled to the general ledger,” she said.

The inventory count came up long about 12 percent, not short, said TPWA General Manager Mark Chesney.

“That makes you scratch your head even more,” he said.

Other actions taken by the board included policy approvals for installing board officers and establishing duties, dealing with people who have business with the board, and a policy/personnel handbook revision. People who have business with the board will now be expected to submit summarized concerns in writing to TPWA “at least four days prior” to the regular monthly meeting.

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