Monday, January 07, 2013

WANT TO KNOW THE LAST TIME YOUR ANC WAS AUDITED?

With the commencement of the 2013 - 2014 ANC terms and the ANC officer elections this month, I thought it would be a good idea to checkup on how my ANC was spending their quarterly allotments (assuming they were receiving them).  After all, those funds are supposed to be used to benefit the community,  either as grants or for community projects. For fiscal year 2011 the Office of the District of Columbia Auditor recommended releasing a total of $575,849 of the $683,572 appropriation. In addition, the DC Auditor is supposed to audit every ANC, every two years and post those reports on their website. I was sure I would find the latest information on how my ANC was performing in terms of operations and finances.

Unfortunately, I was wrong. Very wrong. 

As I was looking for ANC 8C's latest audit report it became clear that there were not a lot of new audit reports on the auditor's website. In fact, only one ANC audit report was posted on the auditor's website in 2012 -- there are currently 38 Advisory Neighborhood Commissions throughout the city.  As I went through the list of audit reports, it became pretty clear, pretty quick that most ANCs were not being audited every two years as was required. That realization made me wonder (and frankly worry), so I spent the next three hours putting together a simple chart of all the ANC audit reports posted on the DC Auditor's website (sorted by year). I didn't have time to review all the audit reports but I did look at a few for Ward 8 and included a few notes. I was particularly surprised to see that although some audit reports revealed serious financial deficiencies (either due to mismanagement, administrative issues, or theft) there did not appear to be an effort to do a subsequent and timely audit. For example, In 2006 the DC auditor's office discovered the theft of nearly $50,000 by an ANC 7D commissioner yet does not appear to have conducted another audit (or at least posted it online) since the 2006 audit.  You would think that after such a significant theft of tax payer funds, the Auditor's office would pay special attention to the ANC, at the very least perform the standard two year audit.



I'm no accountant so I am not going to try and speculate or judge if audits are being performed frequently enough to be considered effective but I will say that as a tax payer if ANC audits are supposed to be performed every two years then I don't understand why the audits are not being conducted. Commissioner terms are for two years and most ANC officer terms are for one year. Without the valuable information found in the audits how can we as residents know if our ANCs and its officers (like the treasurer) are doing their duties properly? How do we as residents know if the rules are being followed?  How do we know that tax payer funds are being protected? To be fair, the DC Auditor does put together an Annual Report on Advisory Neighborhood Commissions every year and that report does provides some basic information but it is not an audit.

In short, who is watching the store and when are they watching it? Wouldn't we want to avoid a repeat performance of what happened in ANC 5B in 2012? Shouldn't there have been warning bells before William Shelton embezzled nearly $30,000 of the ANC's funds over two years leaving the bank account with only $7.11? The time to close the barn door is not after all of the horses have run away, it's before. ANC 5B was last audited in 2006.

I assembled all of the ANC audit reports that were posted on the DC Auditor's website into one table.  You can click on the ANC name to view the audit report. For the life of me I don't understand how 4, 5, 6, and sometimes 7 years was was allowed to go between audits. This is a huge deficiency in safeguarding tax payer funds. I'm not saying that all ANCs are bad or that commissioners are not honest and hardworking people but we should take extra care -- at least the required care -- to ensure they are getting the support they need, if they need it.

On second thought, the reason why my ANC was last audited in 2008 was because members of my single member district demanded an audit.  Maybe that is what it takes, concerned citizens making a fuss.

As the saying goes, "knowledge is power."


ANC
AUDIT YEAR
FISCAL YEARS AUDITED
2012
2009 - 2011
2011
2008 – 3/2011
2011
2008 – 3/2011
2011
2008 – 3/2011
2010
2008 – 3/2010
2010
2008 – 3/2010
2010
2008 – 3/2010
2009
2007 – 3/2009
2009
2007 – 3/2009
2009
2007 – 3/2009
7A
2009
2005 – 3/2008
[OIG investigation requested re: $12K in questionable checks]
2009
2006 – 3/2009
2009
2007 – 3/2009
[audit conducted at the request of 8C residents & CM Alexander re: questionable payments]
2009
2007 – 3/2009
2009
2005 – 3/2008
2008
2005 – 3/2008
2008
2006 – 3/2008
2008
2006 – 3/2008
2008
2006 – 3/2008
2008
2006 – 3/2008
2C
2007
3/2005 – 12/2006
[grant awards only]
2007
2004 – 3/2006
2007
2004 – 3/2006
2007
2005 – 3/2007
2007
2005 – 3/2007
2007
2005 – 3/2007
2007
2005 – 3/2007
2007
2005 – 3/2007
2007
2005 – 3/2007
2007
2005 – 3/2007
2007
2005 – 3/2007
2007
2005 – 3/2007
2006
2004 – 3/2006
2006
2004 – 3/2006
2006
2004 – 3/2006
2006
2004 – 3/2006
2006
2004 – 3/2006
2006
3/2005 – 1/2006
[$49,800 misappropriated by treasurer]
2006
2003 – 3/2005
[checking account frozen, FY 2003 + FY 2004 were forfeited -$36k+]
2006
2003 – 3/2005
2005
2003 – 3/2005
2005
2003 – 3/2005
2005
2003 – 3/2005
2005
2003 – 3/2005
2005
2003 and 2004
2005
2003 and 2004
2005
2003 – 3/2005
2004
2000 – 6/2003
2004
2000 – 3/2003
2004
2001 – 6/2004
2004
2000 – 3/2003
2003
1999 – 6/2002
2003
2000 – 3/2003
2003
1999 – 3/2003
2003
2000 – 3/2003
2002
10/1/98 – 9/30/01
2002
10/1/99 – 12/31/01
2002
10/1/1998 – 9/30/2001
2002
10/1/1998 – 9/30/2000
Follow-up Audit for FY 1999 and 2000
2002
10/1/99 – 12/31/01
2002
10/1/98 – 6/30/02
2002
2000 – 3/2002
2002
2000 – 3/2002
2002
10/1/98 – 9/30/01
2002
6/1/98 – 9/30/01
2002
10/1/98 – 12/31/01
2002
1999 – 3/2002
2001
10/1/1997 – 8/31/2000
2001
10/1/98 – 9/30/00
2001
10/1/98 – 9/30/00
2001
10/1/98 – 9/30/2000
2001
1999 – 12/31/2000
2001
1999 – 12/31/2000
2001
1999 – 12/31/2000
2001
1999 – 12/31/2000
2000
Investigation into 2 unauthorized checks totaling $2,500
2000
10/1/95 – 9/30/99
1999
10/1/97 – 9/30/98
OIG investigation requested into payments to Chairman/admin officer & personal expenditures. Auditor notes missing financial reports
1999
10/1/95 – 12/31/97
1999
9/1/96 – 7/31/98
1999
Auditor’s Review Unauthorized and Improper Transactions of 7C’s Chairperson
1999
10/1/95 – 9/30/98
1999
Auditor’s Review of Unauthorized Transactions Pertaining to ANC 1A
1998
1994 - 1997
1998
ANC 4D Funds Diverted to Deceased Husband of Former ANC 4D Treasurer
1998
10/1/93 – 12/31/96






















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2 comments:

Anthony Lorenzo said...

Nikki Peele, you rock! I have been feeling like a broken record on this issue. Every time the money discussion comes up at ANC 8B's monthly meetings, a certain commissioner would tell the community about how the books were audited and the DC Auditor issued a "letter" applauding the management of the commissions' finances. Of course, every time that particular commissioner is asked to provide proof of such letters, none is ever given. Especially when one can look up the information and find out the last audit for ANC 8B was in 2006.

Anonymous said...

This type of stuff makes me so mad! Is there any wonder why there is scheming and stealing?