Parking Authority To Hire Accountant To Audit Finances
Written by Deserae del Campo on October 12, 2006
By Deserae del Campo
The Miami Parking Authority board unanimously voted to release a request for proposals and hire an accounting firm to review the authority’s finances "in light of the recent public concerns regarding audit controls at several public agencies within Miami-Dade County."
The resolution came before the board almost three months after Oscar Rivero resigned as its chairman after he was involved in an affordable-housing scandal with the Miami-Dade Housing Authority.
Jami Reyes, partner with Gordon Reyes & Company, now is chairman of the parking board.
"The Miami Parking Authority has always prided itself on the quality of its governance and management," said Art Noriega, executive director of the parking authority. "We review all aspects of our operations as a recurring due-diligence process."
Mr. Noriega said the authority is finishing up a review on its technical and operational departments and "the next practical step is a review of our financial side. It is a normal course of business for us."
The board directed Mr. Noriega to release a request for proposals to find an accounting firm to run the "forensic procedures engagement" on the authority’s finances.
Mr. Noriega said he didn’t know when the request for proposals will be released. According to documents, "the estimated budget for the initial phase of this review is to be no more than $25,000."
"The most appropriate process is to conduct a forensic review to see if we are not violating any issues legally or have any conflict of interests at this standpoint," Mr. Noriega said during the board meeting last week.
Board member Arthur Hertz agreed but wanted to extend the scope of services further. "I would rather have an evaluation in our practices," said Mr. Hertz, "so that we know going forward what we are doing and if it’s the right way to do it."
Mr. Noriega agreed to include the request by Mr. Hertz in the proposal and said the audit review and evaluation of the authority’s finances and procedures should be common and "not every two or three years but much more frequent."
The audit report is considered the first phase of the forensic procedure, but if there are substantial findings by the accounting firm, the board will return with funding for the continuation of the audit.