Regional Coalition of LANL Communities board members discuss the hiring of the firm of Kubiak Melton & Associates during their Dec. 21 meeting in Espanola. Only one proposal was received. Pictured are, from left, Sandy Duran of CPLC, Eric Vasquez, RCLC Executive Director, Santa Fe City Councilor Peter Ives, Espanola Mayor Javier Sanchez, Taos City Councilor Darien Fernandez, Chair/Santa County Commissioner Henry Roybal, Los Alamos County Council Chair David Izraelevitz and Rio Arriba County Commissioner Barney Trujillo. Photo by Maire O’Neill/losalamosreporter.com
BY MAIRE O’NEILL
Regional Coalition of LANL Communities board members voted to hire Kubiak Melton & Associates of Albuquerque to perform audits of RCLC from June 30, 2013 through June 30, 2018.
Chairman Henry Roybal hailed the hiring as the first step for the board to determine any type of reimbursements that were against policy and look for some of those reimbursements to be returned to the RCLC. Roybal has said repeatedly since the results of a special audit of the RCLC by the Office of State Auditor Wayne Johnson were released that the RCLC board should seek reimbursement from all those who received payment they should not have received.
The RCLC board agreed to implement recommendations made by the OSA which included the hiring of an auditor and the establishment of separate bank accounts for Department of Energy restricted funds and RCLC unrestricted funds.
Kubiak Melton is on the list of audit firms approved by the OSA and has previously worked with entities such as the towns of Red River and Bernalillo and Lincoln and Guadalupe Counties. The audit is to be completed by May 31, 2019. It will cost $3,472 per year audited with the hourly rate at $115 per hour.
Los Alamos County Councilor David Izraelevitz asked for details on how the bid was distributed. Executive Director Eric Vasquez said he drafted a letter and distributed it to six state-approved audit firms in the state of New Mexico.
“We opted to go this path of direct solicitation – three were recommended by members of this board and three were randomly selected that are in our geographic region. From that we received two responses and a proposal from this one. I have been in discussion with this firm and feel they meet all our needs. Because we are small, we are not required to have a formal RFP,” he said.
Vasquez said hiring the auditing firm is the first step in understanding “what is where and where is what” and that the RCLC will be able to understand if any action needs to be taken when the auditing has been completed.
The board also voted to establish two bank accounts with New Mexico Bank and Trust. Although Los Alamos County has put the RCLC on notice that it does not want to continue as fiscal agent for the RCLC, Vasquez recommended that the County’s chief financial officer, deputy chief financial officer and budget/performance manager be signatories on the accounts. In his report to the board, Vasquez said a suggestion has been made make a proposal for the board’s January retreat to allow other communities to serve as the fiscal agent.