State Auditor Recommends Changes to UCA's Financial Documentation
Following an embezzlement scheme at the Utah Communications Authority, the State Auditor has released review of the internal controls of the agency. Earlier this year the Utah Communications Authority announced that a former employee and her daughter had used credit cards for personal purchases, embezzling $1 million over a ten-year period.
State Auditor John Dougall says he reviewed the UCA’s internal finance processes to ensure nothing like that happens again.
“We wanted to help management know, other than this person who stole money, were there other weaknesses in their oversight and their controls that placed them at risk? So they can fix those issues and improve their oversight,” Dougall says.
Auditors discovered that the former employee using credit cards for personal purchases was also the only person reviewing and approving the credit card statements. Dougall says there needs to be stronger system of checks and balances in place to prevent this kind of theft.
He says auditors identified another case, a former consulting accountant, “who had basically complete control of all their financial records, the financial transactions, the money coming in, the money going out. So that placed a significant amount of risk there.”
Dougall has recommended that the UCA formalize policies related to documenting financial transactions and have a separate employee review statements. The Utah Communications Authority is indirectly funded by tax dollars. Dougall says the Auditor’s Office and the state legislature will provide increased oversight following its recent financial and transparency issues.