Saturday, September 18, 2010

Pay for Performance?

Paying for performance is a perfectly acceptable practice.  For example, some folks will go through great lengths to put their children through private school even if it strains their finances.  Why?  Because they feel it is worth it.

According to the borough audit summary for 2008 (completed in July 2009), the outside auditor issued nine "recommendations" relating to borough financial operations.

Fair enough.

One would think that the borough audit summary for 2009 (completed in August 2010) the same auditor would have either fewer "recommendations" or at least have different ones, right?

Here are auditor identified financial deficiencies from 2008 that carried over to 2009:
  • Internal controls regarding the preparation of the Borough’s general ledger be reviewed to ensure that the general ledgers for all Funds are complete and reconciled with the subsidiary ledgers and records on a monthly basis;
  • The encumbrance system be enhanced to ensure that materials be ordered only after a purchase order has been executed;
  • Internal controls of the Recreation Commission financial activities be reviewed and enhanced;
  • The General Capital grant receivable balances be reviewed and action taken to collect or clear of record.
  • The Borough review its procedures relating to developers escrow and ensure that procedures comply with New Jersey Statutes.
I am no expert; however, these recommendations suggest a history of poor record keeping.  While in and of itself poor record keeping is not considered wrongdoing; however, it does open the door to future trouble, possibly exposing the borough to financial risk.  Did this deserve a 3.5% raise?  But hey, I am just a "misinformed" dopey resident.  What do I know?

Full audit report is here.

The 2009 Audit Corrective Action Plan is here.  As taxpayers, how do we know that the actions will prevent identical "recommendations" by the auditor next year?  Is this the performance we are rewarding?

It appears the auditor agrees that several deficiencies have not been corrected from 2008:

2009 Dumont Auditor's Report (Full)

Again, there is a lot here.  I thank the SEC for the disclosure.