Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Std-Ex: Emerald City Finances in Good Shape?

Another apparent disconnect between the Std-Ex headline and the story beneath it
Updated: See the 2008 Comprehesive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) below

By Curmudgeon

Another example, this morning, I think, of the Standard-Examiner allowing a headline to run away with the story beneath it. Here's the story:
Recent audit reveals Ogden in good financial shape
The headline is understandable, since the story's lede says the same: "The city is in good shape financially, according to the results of a recently released audit for 2008."

However, the rest of the story [which reports on a recent audit of the city's financial records] seems to say something different. From the story:
The Ogden accounting firm of Schmitt, Griffiths, Smith & Co. conducted the annual audit on behalf of the city along with its redevelopment agency and municipal building authorities. Finances for each of the three entities received an unqualified clean bill of health, according to a prepared statement from Mark Johnson, the city’s management services director. “What this means is Ogden City’s financial policies and procedures were found to be in substantial compliance with generally accepted accounting and auditing standards,” Johnson said. No significant deficiencies were identified in the audit that reviewed the city’s financial records, reports, reporting process, or internal controls.
It appears that what the accounting firm certified was that Ogden's financial records are in good shape, not that Ogden's finances are in good shape.

John Arrington, Ogden's finance manager, is quoted and again, the emphasis seems to be on the city's accounting procedures being properly done:
“Governmental reporting guidelines are very strict,” Arrington said in the statement issued by the city. “Achieving this overall rating speaks volumes for our team’s competency, considering the complicated and diverse methods of governmental accounting.”
So I'm wondering. Did the audit concern itself only with the city's record-keeping and reporting? Did the report, in short, certify that Ogden is not fiddling the books, but is accounting for its money and expenditures properly, keeping proper records and reporting accurately? [In which case the headline and the story's lede are inaccurate.] Or did the audit in fact conclude that Ogden city's finances themselves are in good shape?


See the back room deals said...

I wonder if they found how much money of the taxpayers have been wasted with the car allowance of the current Mark Johnson and his big SUV.

BenJoe said...

South Ogden had a similar audit report, but the data was from July 2008. So I am sure 6 months ago things looked great! It would be interesting to read the report and see what data they are looking at.

RudiZink said...

Pretty simple Curm. Thanks to the moron godfreyite John Arrington... these nitwit accountants from Ogden were unable to put their thumb on Boss Godfrey's $1.5 million slush fund.

Of course they were befuddled by Ogden's Enron-style accounting methods.

Call it a victory for the evil John Arrington's bookkeeping. This bastid will definetily roast in HELL.

Can't wait to see the final 2009 report in PDF form, just like the others we've posted in the right sidebar:

Here's last year's example.

slushie said...

So I suppose the Dip Shit Arrington got the CAFR completed and submited on time this year, so he didnt get fined as in previous years.

J. Huggins said...

You know what the Gondola-Examiner did, Curm. It reported a mundane story under a deceptive Godfrey-promoting headline.

Ogden City is almost broke under Godfrey's governance. But you're NOT going to ever hear that from the Gondola-Examiner.

Curious 1 said...

Have we run out of salt/sand money for the streets? Since nary a word on Ogdens situation, where Kaysville and other cities have already spent their budgets and curtailed overtime as detailed in the Standard. When will our paper ask the hard questions as where our tax revenue is really being spent. Good books really don't mean good fiscal spending.
How is Ogden doing on keeping your street plowed and salted. My street was plowed once Monday afternoon and I live on a hill, and no salt or sand was put down. I'm watching cars going 1/2 way up and the have to back down for a better start up the hill.

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