Thursday, February 21, 2008

Bookkeeping blues

Once again, Fort Worth City Hall is having bookkeeping problems. There's no money missing and no criminal wrongdoing suspected, but the bean-counting bungles are still troubling to taxpayers concerned about whether their hard-earned dollars are being accounted for properly.

City staffers, while working on past-due annual financial reports for 2006 and 2007 and examining whether the city can afford proposed midyear employee pay raises, discovered that changes were needed to ensure conformance with Government Accounting Standards Board rules.

As a result, the city has had to reduce the amount of money identified as unencumbered funds. That in turn significantly reduced the city's "rainy day" reserve fund for emergency and unexpected expenditures.

The readjusted reserve fund balance is $29.1 million, or $17.7 million short of the city's desired level of $46.8 million as of Sept. 30 -- the end of the 2007 fiscal year.

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