Bloomington: Do a FORENSIC AUDIT now!

by: Diane Benjamin

I received the following information from the City of Bloomington under the Freedom of Information Act.  As a CPA, the issuance of PCards to over 200 employees raises many red flags.  I requested a copy of the policy under which employees are expected to operate.  Here is part of that policy:

pcardpolicy1I have the Commerce Bank statements for the entire 2012 year.  I have looked at 3 months extensively and another month briefly.  I could make an extensive list of questionable items and file more FOIA requests for details on transactions.  I’m not going to.  I will just point out some blatant violations of the City’s own policy.

Note the list of prohibited purchases.  See Temporary Help on the list?  How do they explain these charges?

KellyServKelly Services is Temporary Help.  There are numerous charges on many statements for Kelly Services.

Evidently City employees have not been informed about the PCard policy, or nobody is enforcing it.

The City needs a forensic audit of all spending, especially PCards.  There are charges at Walgreens, Cub Foods, Walmart, Starbucks, and many other local retailers.  These could be totally legitimate.  They could also be theft.  Since the policy is not enforced against charging Temporary Help, I have zero confidence that other charges are being scrutinized.

The policy states that employees must turn in receipts that match their charges.  I have doubts that anybody is looking at 40 plus pages of charges every month and making sure receipts are matched to charges.  I asked if any employees reimbursed the City during 2012 for non-approved charges.  The answer was NO.

Here is the entire PCard policy:  2013092611261

The issuance of award-winning audited Financial Statements are meaningless because the auditor assumes that internal procedures exist and are enforced to detect fraud.  They are auditing the presentation, not the detailed content.  The City Finance Department has experienced staff shortages and turnover, according to the City.  It’s difficult to believe that internal procedures to detect fraud or abuse are strong.





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