An audit that was once a major campaign theme for the Mayor Tyler Moore administration is taking longer than expected.
When campaigning for mayor, Moore said an audit of city finances would be conducted at the start of his term to examine city expenditures and finances through every department. While the audit was started early on in the Moore administration, little has come of it.
In April, Moore blamed both the COVID-19 pandemic and a recent software upgrade to payroll and budgeting as the reasoning behind the audit taking longer than expected. At the time, he reported that any new projects that were not already in the works during the Mayor Greg Goodnight administration, such as the development of Championship Park, the hotel convention center, and the parking garage across from City Hall, be put on hold.
Anything else would have to wait until the audit was completed. The original goal end date for the analysis was June 1.
Now, in August, the audit is still underway.
Although Indiana’s stay-at-home order expired in May, allowing city officials to work in-office again, the city’s software upgrade required the transfer of files and staff training for the new software, prolonging the project’s timeline.
“With COVID-19 setting in and the software upgrade, it presented a few challenges in getting the information we needed,” said Moore. “Some of the staff was teleworking, it was just a series of events that prolonged the analysis process. As we got closer to getting things together for budgets that are coming up, it’s got a dual purpose doing the analysis and having budgets coming up. Hopefully we’ll have information as we get closer to budgets getting put together.”
Currently, city department leaders are underway in planning budgets and a three- to five-year plan for their respective departments, alongside working on the audit Moore had planned on completing earlier in his tenure as mayor.
Kokomo City Controller Weston Reed explained the audit as a “shift of priorities” and stated it was actually a “financial analysis,” not an audit.
“What we’re doing is getting down into the individual fund level and finding out really how we can maximize or even shift funds so that we can line up priorities with what Mayor Moore wants to do,” said Reed. “We’re doing our best to really plan out the next four to six years. Now we’re into the budget season, so everything that we’ve built up to this point is kind of moving into the next phase.”
Although the review is still underway, Moore and Reed were optimistic about how it’s progressing.
Mayor Moore said he hopes to have something finalized by the end of August.