Audit finds police jury in good health

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The Webster Parish Police Jury received an unqualified opinion on their audit for 2014, which is the best opinion a governmental entity can receive.

The audit was presented to the jury Tuesday by representatives from Allen, Green and Williamson CPA.

Tim Green and Jamie Esswein presented the report telling jurors on the major areas of financial statements and major funds were unqualified.

“It was a clean report,” she said.

For 2014 total revenues were $13,417,906 with expenses settling in at $12,058,519.

“They remained pretty stable,” she said of the comparison between 2013 and 2014. “There was about an $87,000 increase in revenue and about a $44,000 increase in expenses.”

The total revenues and expenses include assets and liabilities.

Green went through some of the report, saying they’d done extremely well.

“As far as your financials, it looks like you’ve done really well,” he said. “Especially in the general fund, you have basically a year’s reserve. It’s almost like you could operate a year with no revenues and pay your bills.”

She gave a brief overview of the remaining report saying this year’s report saw a huge decrease in findings, going from 13 in 2013 to only four in 2014, none directly relating to the police jury. There were two relating to the E911 communications district, one for a bid violation where they purchased new equipment for their phone services exceeding the $30,000 limit before having to put it out for bid. The second regarded the budget law, in which their budget exceeded $500,000 and did not conduct a public hearing or publish the proposed budget.

The other two were relating to the Section 8 program under community services, one relating to eligibility over their resident files on rent not being calculated correctly, and one with discrepencies in reports submitted to HUD.

“This is a great improvement over the prior year,” Esswein said. “(There were several findings) with the programs with (community services) and that was down to two this year. There were three findings in the prior year related to the police jury and those were all considered clear this year.”

Jury president Jim Bonsall says he’s proud of the audit.

“We’ve had some really good reports,” he said. “Mary (Whitaker) with Community Services, she took over this deal and she had a lot of things to work out, and I’m really glad it’s moved in the right direction. I know she’s worked hard at it, and I know it doesn’t happen overnight. I’m really proud of everybody who works for us because they work so hard to keep these clean audits.”

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