Thursday, 18 July 2013 12:59
by Walter Pierce and Leslie Turk
LPTFA in crosshairs?
On the heels of a state audit critical of its operations, the Lafayette Public Trust Financing Authority will be discussed at Tuesday’s City-Parish Council meeting. Councilmen William Theriot, Jared Bellard and Andy Naquin placed the discussion item on the agenda.
Results of the examination of the LPTFA by Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera — an audit requested by Theriot — were released in mid June. Purpera’s office concludes in the resulting report that the LPTFA needs substantive improvements in its system of accounting and management controls, noting deficiencies in accounting controls over numerous years, with material weaknesses reported in audits as recent as last year. That report stated that management “had failed to take all steps necessary to ensure that an effective system of internal control was in place. ... This condition resulted in the auditors proposing numerous and material audit adjusting journal entries.”
The auditor also found a number of potential conflicts of interest involving the board’s attorney, Richard Becker, and concluded that the LPTFA didn’t always comply with state public meetings law.
After the report was released, LPTFA board chairman John Arceneaux released a press release stating the agency had already instituted many of the things recommended in the report.
The Ind spoke with Theriot shortly after the audit report was released. He told us at the time that he would like for the LPTFA to give updates to the council, which appoints its board members but has no control over operations of the public body. Theriot added that he heard from constituents concerned about the unaccountability of an unelected LPTFA board that controls millions of dollars in public money, although he was also pleased that Purpera’s office had no issues with the types of projects the LPTFA has been backing.
Prior to Tuesday’s 5:30 p.m. council meeting, the LPTFA board will hold a special meeting at 2 p.m. in the executive conference room at City Hall. Among the items to be discussed is Purpera’s report.
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