During the 9/16/10 and the 10/21/10 meetings of the Legislative Audit Advisory Council (LLAC) we heard quite a bit of discussion about the “non-compliance list” that is published by the Louisiana Legislative Auditor (LLA), and whether or not the Town of Jonesboro was on – or should be on – that list.
We decided to do some digging in the Louisiana’s Revised Statutes (RS) and see what the law says.
RS 39:72.1 Compliance with audit requirements
A. Notwithstanding any contrary provision of law, no funds appropriated in the general appropriations act, the capital outlay act, or other appropriation act, shall be released or provided to any recipient of an appropriation if, when, and for as long as, the recipient fails or refuses to comply with the provisions of R.S. 24:513.
What this means is that money appropriated from the Louisiana Legislature in House Bill 1 (HB1 – General Appropriations) or House Bill 2 (HB2 – Capital Outlay) shall not be released to the recipient if they are not in compliance with the provisions of LA RS 24:513.
RS 24:513 – Powers and duties of legislative auditor; audit reports as public records; assistance and opinions of attorney general; frequency of audits; subpoena power
A.(4) Paragraph (3) of this Subsection and Subsection B notwithstanding, the legislative auditor may audit or investigate a local auditee only in those instances when:
(a) The local auditee has failed after thirty days written notice from the legislative auditor to comply with the provisions of this Section relating to timely audits.
(c) The local auditee exhibits a record of egregious control deficiencies and failures to comply with laws and regulations.
(d) The legislative auditor has received complaints of illegal or irregular acts with respect to the local auditee.
To us, this appears to grant all the authority necessary for the LLA to place Jonesboro on the non-compliance list. And it should have been done when the first disclaimer of opinion was issued in the 6/30/08 financial report.
Finally, there is this provision that adds teeth to the law.
K. Whoever violates the provisions of this Section shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars and shall be deemed guilty of malfeasance and gross misconduct in office, and shall be subject to removal.
Lincoln Parish News Online (LPNO) has covered Jonesboro extensively since last summer. See here the archive for past news stories.