1 weakness cited in annual Aztec audit report

Hannah Grover
Members of the Navajo Nation's District 13 Council are seeking a change in location for a planned meeting of the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs that will focus on the Gold King Mine spill.

FARMINGTON – Aztec’s annual audit report for fiscal year 2015 identified one material weakness, according to the financial report, which was presented to the City Commission during a meeting Tuesday.

The material weakness identified in the audit also was noted in the 2014 audit — that city Finance Director Kathy Lamb was the sole administrator of the city’s financial software.

In 2014, the audit suggested that the city create greater segregation of duties centered around finances. The 2015 audit states that the city should assign “different people the responsibilities of authorizing transactions, recording transactions and maintaining custody of assets.”

The audit states that by creating greater segregation of duties, the city would reduce the risk of someone concealing errors or fraud. Due to staffing shortages, the city has struggled to create greater segregation of duties.

The 2015 audit suggests that the city develop a contingency plan for staffing shortages. The city already has taken steps to remedy the problem, according to the financial report.

After reviewing the financial report, Aztec resident Ken Selph praised the city’s budget decisions during the community input section of the meeting, adding that the numbers in the financial report are “absolutely enviable.”

The city also approved an agreement with the New Mexico Environment Department that would allow the department to disburse funds from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to reimburse the city for expenses incurred as a result of the Gold King Mine spill in August.

The city is asking for up to $158,200. Commissioner Katee McClure asked which of the city funds the money would go to.

“It goes wherever the cost was incurred,” City Manager Josh Ray said.

Hannah Grover covers Aztec and Bloomfield, as well as general news, for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652.