Issues at state agencies from prior administration delay audits and Comprehensive Annual Financial Report
June 26, 2019
SPRINGFIELD – State Comptroller Susana A. Mendoza Wednesday declared her continued displeasure with the pace of release of the State’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR). Monday marks the beginning of a new fiscal year, and we are still without the fiscal year 2018 CAFR.
The Illinois Office of Comptroller compiles the CAFR from reports submitted to the Office from individual state agencies that are required to be audited by the Illinois Auditor General. If any of those audits are not complete, the Comptroller cannot publish the CAFR.
The timeliness of the issuance of the CAFR has been an issue that spans back since fiscal year 1999, marking the last time the report met its reporting date. In six of the last 12 years, the CAFR has come out in June or later, a year after the end of the fiscal year. In 2009, it came out in July. The state appears on-track to match or beat that dubious record this year.
The lateness this year does not fall on the Comptroller’s Office, the Auditor General or the current leadership of the state agencies. It appears there are issues from this audit period dating from the previous administration's management. The current administration and leadership of those agencies are working to resolve them and account for them in their reports to the Auditor General.
The Comptroller’s Office stands ready, as it has been since December, to publish the CAFR as soon as the remaining audits are completed.
“My first year in office, we got the CAFR out in February. Last year, the CAFR was issued in early March,” Mendoza said. “I am highly concerned and disappointed that this process is taking so long. My hands are tied until we get the final audited reports from the Auditor General.”
Officials from the Illinois Office of Comptroller have been working continuously on this report and meeting regularly with their counterparts at the Auditor General’s Office and the state agencies over the past year to try to push the process along. The Auditor General has been working to resolve the issues with the agencies that occurred during the prior administration that have caused the delay. Comptroller Mendoza voiced her dissatisfaction with the delays at her legislative appropriations hearings in May.
While the CAFR has not been issued, Mendoza noted that the Office’s website, www.IllinoisComptroller.gov, provides for ongoing fiscal information in a user-friendly format that includes data for detailed revenues and expenditures by agency for the last five fiscal years. In addition, the Illinois Office of Comptroller issues a monthly report of the Debt Transparency Act (DTA) providing the updated status of agency-by-agency bill payment and other important fiscal information, which is also accessible via the Office’s website.