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Fuel audit information due in April

By Staff | Mar 31, 2011

City Auditor Margaret Krym said the forthcoming fuel audit is getting nearer to completion, and Lee County staff will begin writing the actual report once they answer what she described as a “few pending questions”.

Krym said the work has been “extensive” thus far.

“There has been a lot of time that’s gone into the job already … there has been a lot of information and a lot of answers,” she added.

Even if the final report is not completed in April, Krym said she would have “something in writing” for the city council before the end of the month, even if that means she has to write it herself.

The fuel audit was different, but not unusual, according to Krym, who said the task was to validate the assumptions made by Bill Towler regarding the city’s fuel consumption.

A “regular” audit is a broad process in which the auditor narrows down specific risks, Krym said, but the fuel audit began specifically with the assertions made by Towler is his written and verbal presentations made to city council on November 15th of last year.

Towler asserted that millions of dollars and thousands of gallons of city fuel were unaccounted for, and that no management controls were in place to prevent unauthorized use and potential theft.

Lee County auditors have been auditing those processes since entering into an interlocal agreement with the city, of which Krym has been over seeing, and they started the process by addressing Towler’s report and statements.

“In this case assertions have been made, and we’ve been looking at the vaildiity of the assumptions and the risk associated with those assumptions,” Krym added.

The fuel audit, and Towler’s report, have since become a political football, tossed around in the public arena to varying degrees by bothy detractors and supporters of the report.

Krym said her office’s job, and the job of the county’s auditors, is not to support or deny any political affiliations Towler’s report may have, but to simply analyze the data and present the findings to city council.

“We’re just going to state the facts, the political spin on it is not our role,” Krym said. “We have to separate it all from the people, the personalities and the personal agendas.”