$642 million in tax dollars were misused or missed out on in 2019, Louisiana legislative auditor says

Auditor says state has missed out on or misused $642 million in 2019

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Louisiana state and local governments wasted or missed out on a combined $642 million in 2019, according to the state legislative auditor’s year-end report released the week of Feb. 17.

The annual report is designed to demonstrate trends to lawmakers, who enter their regular legislative session in March. Some of the agencies dinged in the report were repeat offenders.

The auditor points to a handful of key issues, noting Louisiana’s “ongoing struggle to make sure the Medicaid program is paying only for services that actually have been delivered, and to ensure that only eligible individuals are receiving Medicaid services.”

In addition, the government’s official watchdog writes that Louisiana colleges and universities need to improve their bookkeeping so that students are not overcharged or undercharged fees and tuition.

The auditor also slams a number of local governments for similar problems, noting that a number of repeat offenders are on the “edge of financial collapse.”

“Auditors continue to find non-compliance with state laws related to budgets; failure to reconcile bank accounts; errors in accounting records; deficits in general funds and other funds; and misappropriation of money and assets," the report reads. "The overall effect is the loss of much-needed revenue at the local level.”

Copyright 2020 WAFB. All rights reserved.