In a stern response to a critical audit of the Salt Lake City Finance Department, outgoing Director Lance Bateman said the review of his department was seriously flawed and based on insufficient evidence.
The Peat Marwick Main & Co. audit, which will be discussed at a City Council meeting Thursday night, said the finance department isn't meeting elected official's expectations and should pare its staff to save money.But Bateman, in a written response to the audit, said it lacked documentation and paid no attention to cost and efficiency.
"Several of the auditor's findings and recommendations do not seem to be supported by sufficient evidence . . . The costs and risks associated with some of (the audit's) recommendations are completely ignored," he wrote.
In one instance, City Treasurer Buzz Hunt wrote, Peat Marwick was asked to provide evidence for some of their assertions made in the audit. "To this date, however, no such evidence has been presented," he wrote.
The audit criticizes the department for failing to meet expectations of elected officials and for lacking control over other departments that spend taxpayer's money, an analysis Bateman disagreed with.
"This is a simplistic synopsis of a philosophical discussion . . . The finance department is very serious about its control responsibilities," he wrote.
Gary Mumford, manager of the city's auditing and reporting division, countered criticism of a lack of finance department control over other departments, saying control is precisely what his division is responsible for.
The audit said eliminating six positions in the finance department and changing duties in other positions would save $141,000.
However, Hunt, calling the audit "naive," said eliminating only four positions would result in a $1.2 million revenue loss because of impacts on fee collection, revenue forecasting and overall finance management.
Bateman submitted his resignation last month, saying he would remain in office to respond to the audit. He will be replaced by current City Council Executive Director Linda Hamilton.