IG report: Issues remain with N.O. monetary donations

City lags in fund reports

The city now has a policy in place for how it handles monetary donations, but it has not implemented two other changes to how New Orleans accounts for and spends donations that it said it would following a 2011 report from the city’s Office of Inspector General.

That is according to a follow-up report released Monday.

The initial report from 2011 examined the America’s New Orleans Fund Inc. and the Miscellaneous Donations Fund, two funds created to manage monetary donations following Hurricane Katrina.

That report concluded:

  • Employees in the department that received donations entered information into the city’s accounting software but were not trained on how to do that, nor were they trained in record keeping.
  • The director of finance did not make reports on the MDF to the city’s chief administrative officer and City Council as required by law.
  • The city was in noncompliance with its internal policy when it placed grants subject to certain regulatory conditions in the city’s general fund.

Following that report, Chief Administrative Officer Andy Kopplin wrote to Inspector General Ed Quatrevaux that:

  • The city would update its accounting policies and procedures and put in place a policy on the proper management and documentation of receipts of donations. That was supposed to be done by the end of 2011.
  • The director of finance would develop a report on the MDF for the chief administrative officer and council. That report was to be included with other financial reports presented monthly at the council’s Budget Committee starting in the third quarter of 2011.
  • The city would follow its own law and put all miscellaneous donations in the MDF.

According to Monday’s follow-up report, the city has updated its accounting policies and procedures manual and issued a donation policy but only after the follow-up report was finalized.

Meanwhile, the city claims to have prepared MDF reports that it submitted to the chief administrative officer and council. However, the Office of Inspector General wrote that there is “no evidence to support this assertion was provided by the city.”

Finally, donations the city received and placed into the general fund in 2011 were less than $100 and were not examined by auditors before being placed into that fund.

Kopplin on Monday said the city has provided the reports to the council.

“Although we provided the Inspector General with copies of the non-major funds reports that we had developed for the Budget Committee, we had not formally sent the reports to be ‘officially’ recorded by the council and will do so moving forward,” Kopplin said in a prepared statement.

The Office of Inspector General will perform a second review in about 18 months.