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No Safeguards at Insurance Office

No Safeguards at Insurance Office

Financial Controls at State Insurance Superintendent's Office Woefully Lacking

The state Insurance Superintendent’s office has almost no controls or safeguards on how it deals with hundreds of millions of dollars of public money and its finances are in such a mess that it can’t be determined whether the agency’s financial statements are accurate, said an audit released Wednesday by State Auditor Tim Keller.

The audit of the Office of the Superintendent of Insurance contained 31 findings, or problem areas, at the OSI that  related to all aspects of its financial operations, including the fact that the agency had no cash controls and that “checks coming in the door were not logged or receipted,” Keller said. The failure to log checks affected more than $300 million in deposits OSI made into its accounts for the fiscal year that ended June 30.

“We were unable to obtain sufficient audit evidence to concluded that the financial statements, as a whole, are free from material misstatement,” the audit said. “Because of the significance o the matters described … we have not been able to obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence to provide a basis for audit opinions on the financial statements of OSI as of June 30, 2016. Accordingly, we do not express an opinion on these financial statements.”

In a news release detailing the audit, Keller said, “The annual audit highlights areas throughout the agency where safeguqards of public funds ar not adequate or existing rules aren’t being enforced. “These are critical areas that concern the collection and administration of hundreds of millions of our tax dollars each year. They need to be addressed for the financial health of our state.”


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Dennis Domrzalski is managing editor of ABQ Free Press. Reach him at dennis@freeabq.com.

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