Posted at: 07/16/2013 10:16 PM
Updated at: 07/17/2013 7:13 AM
By: Jay Kolls
There are major flaws in the state's new $70 million accounting system known as "S.W.I.F.T."
That is the assessment of the top auditor of Minnesota State Government. Legislative Auditor James Nobles tells 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that the accounting system created serious delays in getting financial reports put together.
Nobles says Minnesota missed its deadline and violated federal law when it did not get its final audits of all state agencies submitted to the Federal Government on time.
Nobles says he is concerned that the accounting system problems are persisting even though "we have had several years to prepare for this new accounting system and spent tens of millions of dollars and it is not working adequately."
Nobles admits it is hard to have full confidence in the system and it is hard to know if the $16 billion the state spent in 2012 is adequately accounted for in the final report.
Nobles says this could have a negative affect on the state's credit rating. If the the state's credit rating takes a hit, Nobles says it will cost taxpayers more to pay off the interest on money the state borrows.
Nobles says it could also lead to sanctions from the federal government. Nobles says he has "great concerns the problems are still in the accounting system" and could affect his ability to audit 2013 financial numbers.
The Minnesota Office of Management and Budget is responsible for getting the financial statements to the Legislative Auditor on time.
MMB did not get those 2012 numbers reported to the Legislative Auditor on time and declined our request for an interview.
In a statement, MMB says, in part, "We are confident that all state resources collected from taxpayers can and are properly accounted for."