Jun 24, 2013 5:15 PM by Ian Auzenne
A legislative audit is raising a number of concerns about the Lafayette Public Finance Trust Authority.
The audit, released today, found that LPTFA trustees have not been receiving annual ethics training required by state law. In addition, the audit noted that there was no written policy to assist the trustees in setting "high ethical standards" for conducting business.
The audit continues by saying the LPTFA board chairman did not draft a budget for the agency, which is required by law. The audit also recommended that the LPTFA hire a staff to oversee internal control of the agency's accounting practices.
The audit also noted that LPTFA's legal counsel might have a conflict of interest. According to the audit, no "inherent problem" exists in the LPTFA hiring the Becker & Hebert law firm as its legal advisor. However, the audit says a conflict could arise because law firm represents governmental agencies that have interests aligned or against the LPTFA.
The audit went on to question some of the LPTFA's meeting regulations. The LPTFA's bylaws allow members to vote on issues via a written vote. However, the audit notes that this rule may violate state public records laws. Furthermore, the audit says the LPTFA did not hold an annual meeting between 2009 and 2012 and that regular meetings were not held at a regularly set day or time.
In his response to the Office of the Legislative Auditor, LPTFA Chairman John Arceneaux says he concurs with most of the findings in the audit. Arceneaux says that he and the rest of the LPTFA Board of Trustees have begun to implement measures to fix the problems outlined in the document.