Review: Some audit issues fixed

A follow-up report to an inspector general’s review of the French Market Corp.’s credit card and expense reimbursement policies found that the agency has remediated some problems but others still need to be fixed.

The OIG released a report in June 2011 that found eight issues regarding internal controls about credit card transactions and one finding concerning expense reimbursements.

Since then, the French Market Corp. has implemented six of the nine recommendations from the report and partially implemented the remaining three.

Still needing improvement, according to the OIG report, are:

The corporation’s written policies regarding credit card accounting policy and procedures.

Definitions of allowable expenses that employees can charge or be reimbursed for.

The frequent incurrence of finance and late charges related to payments on monthly credit card statements.

“The follow-up review indicated much improvement has taken place,” Inspector General Ed Quatrevaux said in a prepared statement. “However, the FMC needs to stop wasting money on fees for tardy payment.”

Areas in which the FMC fully implemented the OIG’s recommended changes include:

Employees turning in required supporting documentation for credit card transactions.

Providing business purposes for each transaction.

Stopping distribution of gift cards to employees without proper accounting.

Stopping the overall purchase of gift cards for employees.

Forbidding the practice of splitting payments to circumvent control of requiring two signatures for purchases worth more than $2,000.

Enforcing a policy that requires all original receipts to be attached to expense statements with an explanation of the business nature of the expense.

Quatrevaux’s office said it will perform a future follow-up on the partially implemented responses.

The OIG’s report came after reports about questionable credit card purchases former FMC Director Kenneth Ferdinand made. He resigned in 2010 due to concerns about purchases for which he charged the agency, and he later faced theft charges. A judge acquitted Ferdinand of those charges late last year.

In addition to the market, the public corporation manages the city-owned Upper Pontalba apartment building.