By Edwin Crayton
At the January 8. 2019 meeting Chairman Leo Walker announced that the Natchitoches Community Improvement Foundation did not have an audit in 2018, as required in its court approved bylaws. In section 6.10 of the bylaws it says, “The Corporation shall have an annual audit be completed every 3 years.” That would have been 2018 Walker told the board in October.
Walker said the reason the audit has not happened yet is that NCIF had just filed taxes for 2016 and 2017. I mentioned that this was kind of late to be filing those taxes. However, Walker and Treasurer Oswald Taylor did not deny this and said those taxes have been mailed. Walker then said the organization would have the audit when they could hire a firm to do the work.
An audit is a step towards transparency and is very much needed at NCIF. To illustrate this point, consider that the foundation makes few written documents available to the public. And in fact even in their own meetings, officers provide few paper reports and that includes financial reports. Even at the January meeting, Taylor read the figures out loud instead of having written documents available for attendees to inspect. He said NCIF has 1, 810, 471. 61. Vice President Kelvin Porter pointed out that amount is less than the 1.9 million mentioned at the previous meeting. No one seemed to know for sure what accounted for this big drop in money. However, Walker speculated it was because of a drop in the investments relating to the stock market. A good, honest, professional audit will tell for sure what happened. No need to guess.
Indeed, audits go a long way. It was at the last audit, in 2014 it was revealed that $19,500 of money managed by NCIF was unaccounted for. NCIF has yet to explain what happened to the money. Nor has it revealed any plans to find out what happened. The Natchitoches Community Improvement Foundation manages 1.8 million in funds designated to benefit the citizens of Natchitoches.
To whom much is given, much is required. –Luke 12:48