Reports include Collector of Revenue, Public Utilities, Circuit Attorney, License Collector, and Community and Economic Development offices
JEFFERSON CITY – State Auditor Nicole Galloway today announced the release of reports providing a status update from city officials on how departments within the City of St. Louis have addressed findings from the last comprehensive audit of the city. These reports include responses from the Office of the Collector of Revenue, Department of Public Utilities, Office of the License Collector, Community and Economic Development offices and the Office of the Circuit Attorney as to their progress on the findings. The responses by city officials will be reviewed by audit staff during ongoing audit work.
The Office of the Collector of Revenue acts as the local license office and is responsible for collecting real estate taxes, personal property taxes, earnings taxes, and water and trash bills. The report indicated that all ten findings from the audit released in 2009 have been implemented. These responses will be verified during an upcoming audit of the Office of the Collector of Revenue.
The Department of Public Utilities includes the Water Division and the Communications Division and is responsible for providing residents with water services and maintaining STL TV, the local government access channel. The report indicated that seven of the 15 findings from the audit released in 2010 were implemented. Two were not implemented and the remaining were in progress or partially implemented. These responses will be verified during an upcoming audit of the Department of Public Utilities.
The Office of the Circuit Attorney serves as the chief prosecutor for state-level crimes in the City of St. Louis. The office includes attorneys, investigators, victim services case managers and support staff who assist in the prosecution of approximately 3,000 to 4,000 felonies and 2,000 to 3,000 misdemeanors each year. The follow-up report indicated that two of the seven findings from the audit released in 2010 have been implemented. Other findings were partially implemented or in progress. The responses will be verified during an upcoming audit of the Circuit Attorney’s office.
The Office of the License Collector works with businesses looking to start or renew their license and is charged with taking action against noncompliant businesses operating without a license. The follow-up report indicated that 21 of the 22 findings from the audit released in 2009 have been implemented. The responses will be verified in an upcoming audit of the License Collector’s office.
The report on the Community and Economic Development offices includes the Community Development Administration, which produces new and rehabilitated housing and promotes neighborhood growth within the city, and the Affordable Housing Commission, which works to create and expand affordable housing and meet critical housing needs in the city. The report also includes the Land Reutilization Authority, which receives title to all tax delinquent properties not sold at the Sheriff’s sale and receives title to properties through donations. The follow-up report indicated that 16 findings from the audit released in 2009 have been implemented, with an additional finding in progress. The responses will be verified in an upcoming audit of Community and Economic Development offices.
Auditor Galloway said she expects to release 21 of these initial reports, which will provide a status update by city departments and officials on whether the concerns raised by the last comprehensive audit, completed in 2010, were addressed. The five follow-up reports include descriptions of how 56 findings were implemented since the previous audit was released. This brings the total number of implemented findings to 124 since the release of the status reports began. All the recently released status update reports are available here.
In late January, Auditor Galloway accepted the request by the Board of Aldermen to complete a comprehensive, independent audit of the City of St. Louis. Auditor Galloway said her office is approaching the review as a citizen-initiated audit and has pledged to engage citizens in the process. She has established a web page, auditor.mo.gov/STLAudit, to answer questions and receive information and concerns from citizens.
Citizens can provide information for consideration by contacting the State Auditor’s Whistleblower Hotline at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 800-347-8597. Concerns may also be submitted anonymously online at auditor.mo.gov/hotline.