Officials: State's checkbook unbalanced for years

Posted at: 01/17/2013 6:58 PM
By: Danielle Todesco, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Photo: Tom Clifford, DFA Secretary
Photo: Tom Clifford, DFA Secretary

Two days into the 2013 legislative session, KOB Eyewitness News 4 has learned the state has failed to balance its checkbook accurately for years.

That means there could be tens of millions of dollars unaccounted for.

State finance officials said money spent has not been recorded and kept up accurately with the actual state bank account since 2006.

DFA Secretary Tom Clifford said when they started using a new computer system in 2006 to track the accounting the correct policies and ways to use it weren't done.

So, for years the state's spending hasn't been matched up with the state's bank account.

The department said problems started popping up in 2011. They've since hired outside consultants to help them sort through the backlog and make sure the computer system is used correctly.

But this is a huge error, and the department admits that.

“It's a very serious deficiency, yes,” Clifford said. “We feel like the state has failed in one of its core responsibilities, day to day, week to week, if you don't do it day to day or week to week, it becomes next to impossible to do these reconciliations.

As of right now, the state doesn’t know how much the mistake could end up costing. DFA officials said they've estimated it to cost around $70 million to take care of, which will come from the reserve fund, but the price tag could jump up to hundreds of millions of dollars. But that information won’t be known for another month or so.