Auditor: ‘Ineffective internal audit function’ continues to plague DEQ

Chuck Carr Brown, secretary, LDEQ. Photo by Don Kadair.

The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality’s “ineffective internal audit function” is an ongoing problem that fails to ensure tax dollars are spent as they should be, according to a report by the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s office.

The Center Square reports that auditor Mike Waguespack issued a procedural report last week that aimed to “evaluate certain controls DEQ uses to ensure accurate financial reporting, compliance with applicable laws and regulations, and accountability over public funds” for fiscal years 2021 and 2022.

The results showed that while the DEQ resolved prior issues with its waste tire management program and fuel cards, a 2020 finding regarding its ineffective internal audit function continues to plague the agency.

State law requires agencies that receive $30 million or more to use an internal audit function and to certify with the department secretary each year that the function conforms to IIA Standards.

“Considering DEQ was appropriated $144 million for fiscal year 2021 and $145 million for fiscal year 2022, an effective internal audit function is important to ensure that DEQ’s assets are safeguarded and management’s policies and procedures are uniformly applied,” the report reads. See the full story from The Center Square.