Last night, Brighton City Council voted 8-0 authorizing city staff to pursue hiring an outside, independent firm to conduct an additional audit of the Utilities Fund, a forensic audit. The item was requested to be added to the agenda by Council Members Mary Ellen Pollack and Matt Johnston. Council Member Clint Blackhurst was absent from the meeting. City Council requested that the forensic audit look at previous years revenue and expenditures over an approximately eight-year period beginning in 2010.
In October 2018, the city informed residents that during the 2019 budget preparation process, questions were raised by the City Manager concerning the Utilities Department financial information and nearly $70 million in accrued, unspent utilities funds. Due to the significance of these services for the community, the city sought an outside independent audit, along with an updated review of the city’s utility rate structure and its impact on our ability to provide these essential services to our community.
At the end of the year, the city put together an audit selection committee made up of two community members, two council members, and city staff to help select new city auditors to review the city’s finances, including a thorough review of the Utilities Fund. The city is required to conduct an audit every fiscal year and submit it to the state.
The 2018 audit is tentatively scheduled to be presented to the City Council at their Study Session meeting July 9, with results available to the public at that time. The city also anticipates bringing results and recommendations from the new utility rate study to City Council in the coming weeks.