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Aldermen seek more information on audit options

Posted: June 11, 2013 - 8:55pm

After an audit committee meeting and a discussion in the regular council meeting Tuesday night, Conway City Council members decided to get more specific information about how much a private audit would cost in comparison to the free legislative audit.

Timing is the biggest concern with staying with the free legislative audit, but the last time the city used a private auditor it cost about $100,000.

At this time, the council does not have specific figures of how much a private audit would cost. The aldermen moved to put out a request for qualifications to get specific information so they can assess the cost versus the reward of not using the legislative audit.

The RFQs would let the city rank the top three private firms based on their qualifications. Then, negotiations with the top contender would proceed to figure out a price. If the price is not satisfactory to the council, they could then move to the next in line.

"Right now we're grasping at numbers," said Councilman David Grimes, who also serves as chairman of the audit committee. "We know what it used to cost and we think we know what it might cost in the future, but we just don't know. This would give us the chance to get a number from an independent firm just so we have something to compare to."

The city's chief financial office Tyler Winningham said the city is tentatively on the schedule to get a legislative audit this fall for the 2012 fiscal year, but they know that the city might be looking elsewhere for this service.

"When we tell them this, that we're going out for RFQ, we very well may lose our spot in line," he said. "But if we say, 'We don't like the responses we got; we want to stick with you guys,' they'll just schedule us for a later date." 

No matter their decision, Winningham said the city would most likely stay with that audit option for several years.

"With the differences between the two as far as how they report, we need to pick one and stick with it," he said.

The motion to send out RFQs passed six to one with Councilman Mark Ledbetter voting against, stating he felt the city should stick with the legislative audit.

 

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City
6
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City 06/11/13 - 10:08 pm
1
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Would it not make since to do

Would it not make since to do the free one, rather than do the one that cost $100,000 or more.

rathjen
667
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rathjen 06/12/13 - 07:53 am
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Exactly!

And it is not just 1 time line item hit of $100K.

"No matter their decision, the city's chief financial office Tyler Winningham said the city would most likely stay with that audit option for several years."

What could the city do with 100K?

1. Fireworks on the 4th of July.
2. Pay for Christmas bonuses for city employees.
3. Help lower insurance premiums for city workers.
4. Fully fund CDBG
5. Give elected officials a pay raise.
6. Buy or repair the fire trucks that break down on emergency responses.
7. Get the traffic lights timed.

I can think of more...

So again, why do we as citizens have to give away 100K when we have a state agency that will do it for FREE?

Last time I checked, our city was broke - and could not do anything on the list above except for #5.

Is it really this hard to manage our city?

sevenof400
7002
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sevenof400 06/12/13 - 12:39 pm
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Well, it might make sense...

..since any audit could potentially save cents sensibly.

rathjen
667
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rathjen 06/13/13 - 08:39 am
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.

Seven,
They have had months to get the FREE audit from the state lined up. It either slipped someones calendar by accident or maybe there was a purpose behind it.

Our local leaders do not have the the best track record with handling money. We almost bought Spirit mobile homes for 3 million, and then just a few months later came up missing over 1 million dollars.

On a side note. The only way we are going to straighten the mess up down there is to extend the civil service commission to all city employees. That way they can be candid about what is going on without having fear of losing their jobs.

And I am totally in agreement with you that an audit could save us money. I just don't trust the ones that are making the decision to hire an outside firm to do this. The auditors from the state will be fair and impartial without worrying about our local politics. They go into local municipalities all the time. A private firm could be worried that their analysis would be too hard hitting and that it might jeopardize the renewal of the audit for the following year.

Have a nice day.

Larry

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