State Auditor Tim Keller Releases Report On New Mexico’s Financial Health

State Auditor Tim Kelle
SANTA FE  Today, State Auditor Tim Keller released The Findings Report: A Summary of New Mexico’s Governmental Financial Audits. 
The second annual report from the Office of the State Auditor (OSA) compiles information that would otherwise remain buried deep within thousands of pages of annual audits. The report allows policymakers and the public to easily access comparative information about the financial health of hundreds of state agencies, counties, municipalities, schools, and courts.
The Fiscal Year 15 Findings Report compiles and analyzes data from the audits of 463 government entities across New Mexico government. The report provides a snapshot of financial health from information compiled from audits including audit opinions, types of audit findings, and audit findings that repeated from year-to-year. The report also identifies entities that have improved since the previous fiscal year.
“The report turns hundreds of annual audits into a useful tool that allows New Mexicans to easily check on entities they care about like state agencies or their county, city or school,” Keller said. “Policymakers and the public can use the report to hold government accountable by tracking progress, or in some cases, lack of progress in their communities.”
Major takeaways from the report include:
  • Audit Opinions: a determination of whether the financial statements accurately reflect the position and activities of the entity. 
  • The vast majority of New Mexico’s governmental entities, 93 percent, are providing reliable financial information to the public. However, 31 entities, or 7 percent, had unfavorable audit opinions, including an adverse opinion for the Village of Questa and disclaimed opinions for the Town of Bernalillo, Village of Columbus, Town of Estancia, Village of Wagon Mound, Harding County, Rio Arriba County, Central Consolidated School District and Lordsburg Municipal Schools. 
  • Audit Findings: the number of audit findings indicates whether entities follow accounting practices and comply with federal and state laws (fewer findings is better).  
  • There were over 1,800 findings across audited entities, down from 2,033 in Fiscal Year 14, of which about half represented significant problems. The entities with the most findings are: Public Education Department, Albuquerque Public Schools, Taos Municipal Schools, City of Albuquerque, and Santa Fe Public Schools. For each agency, the number of findings includes its component units such as charter schools, housing authorities, and hospitals. 
  • Over 40 percent of all audit findings were repeated from a previous year, indicating a need for those entities to focus on corrective action plans to address weaknesses. The entities with the most repeated findings are Public Education Department, Taos Municipal Schools, Albuquerque Public Schools, Cibola County, and West Las Vegas School District. For each agency, the number of findings includes its component units such as charter schools, housing authorities, and hospitals.
  • Audit Improvements: many entities made improvements in reducing the total number of findings or the audit opinion they received from year-to-year. Some of the entities that improved are: Secretary of State, City of Gallup, and Aztec Municipal Schools.
OSA encourages the public to look up government entities of interest in the full report here
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