Saturday, April 9, 2011

Kessler Gets Another South Florida Job.

Kessler is coming to the City of Lauderdale Lakes to Forensic Audit services related to the utilization and management of the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) funds.  

The Agency sought out this audit after it found, back in October 2010, that monies had been removed from the CRA bank account and utilized for non-CRA expenses. 

In a special meeting that took less than 2 hours, the City’s CRA voted and approved for Kessler International, which was 1 of 4 forensic auditing firms who responded to the City’s bid request, to perform this audit.

Now, I am glad that the Agency is taking steps to identify and correct financial issues that it has.  Lauderdale Lakes, like Deerfield Beach and many other cities and governments across this great land of ours, has big financial issues that require a forensic auditing of the entire City’s infrastructure.  Even if sampling is done from all departments and branches, it would be enough to determine if fraud or mismanagement can occur and it would give the forensic auditing firm a chance to recommend any internal controls they determined would benefit the City.  Now this type of investigation would be worthwhile and all taxpayers could feel good about it because it would give us all a sense that our City’s government is working effectively with the least chance of fraud, which cost all of us money.  This also allows the City’s to save money because they have basically plugged all the holes in the City’s bank accounts.

To allow a forensic auditing firm to only audit samples of information from select departments, like they did here in Deerfield Beach, does not fix a City’s problems, but just waste taxpayers dollars.  It’s like having an exterminator only tent one bedroom in a multi-bedroom house.  The pests just move over to another room and come back once the tent is removed.  So you didn’t really accomplish anything, but a temporary fix.  That is why exterminators tent the entire house and then give the homeowners suggestions on how to maintain their newly treated homes to prevent the pest from coming back.

So to the City of Lauderdale Lakes, I applaud you for wanting to spend tax dollars on fixing the problem(s) you uncovered in your CRA, but don’t you think that $15,000.00 fee to Kessler would be better spent along with an entire fee for forensic auditing of all of your city’s functions.  I think your City’s residence would agree with me.

I just hope my City, would consider bringing a forensic auditing firm back to audit all of our City’s departments, simultaneously.  Maybe, Kessler would consider giving us a prorated price since they have already done part of the work.  How about it Kessler?  If not, we have a firm, JD Gilbert & Company, right here in Deerfield Beach that appears to be fully qualified and capable of doing the job.
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