BY MAIRE O’NEILL
The Regional Coalition of LANL Communities board is slated to meet Friday at 1 p.m. at the Town of Taos Council Chambers, 120 Civic Plaza Drive in Taos.
On the agenda is a presentation by Paul Black and Tom Stockton of Neptune and Company Inc. of Los Alamos regarding “their Community Values Project and Department of Energy Environmental Management “stakeholder engagement effort”. The Neptune officials are to be introduced by Doug Hintze, DOE-EM manager at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
Black is the principal and co-founder of Neptune, an environmental consulting company that specializes in statistics, decision analysis, risk assessment, ecology, environmental modeling, qlity assurance A and chemistry. He manages the company’s Statistics, Decision Analysis and Modeling Group which provides consulting services in environmental decision analysis including such as environmental modeling, cost-benefit (economic) analysis, options analysis, statistics, probability, elicitation, earth sciences, and human health and ecological risk assessment. Stockton is an environmental statistician for the company. Los Alamos County Councilor Randy Ryti was one of the founders of Neptune in 1992.
DOE EM-LA and legacy waste clean-up contractor N3B have held initial forums in Los Alamos and Espanola to discuss the EM-LA mission at LANL and its core values, the communities’ role and importance in decisions relating to legacy cleanup and opportunities for community members to stay involved in the cleanup process over the next several years. A forum is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday evening in Taos at the Hotel Don Fernando, 1005 Paseo del Pueblo Sur Taos. A similar forum will be held at Santa Fe Community College Aug. 22.
Also on the agenda is presentation by Rick Sandoval of Zlotnick Laws & Sandoval PC, an independent accounting firm which has been hired by the RCLC to handle routine finances.
Not on the agenda are audit reports for the past six years which have been completed by Albuquerque tax accountants Kubiak Melton, LLC, and sent to the Office of the State Auditor for review.
The audit reports were originally due to be completed by May 31 however that date was extended to July 31 after Kubiak Melton told the RCLC the felt the need to perform additional procedures related to FY2015 through FY2018. A letter to the RCLC stated that the additional work pertained to matters the State Auditor suggested for them to include as part of the original engagement.
“We became aware of the additional work needed after the contracts were signed. The purpose of these procedures is to extend the examination of key findings that were identified in the State Auditor’s Special Audit conducted in 2018. KMA CPAs have reviewed the elements of all findings in depth enabling us to place the original test work performed during that engagement into context. Furthermore, KMA will reference each respective finding as it is identified in our workpapers. KMA does this not to rewrite the original findings, but to save time and effort and reference the deficiency as already documented, with the intention of providing further guidance for RCLC management,” the letter said.
Under a revision to the original contract, Kubiak Melton was to perform “an agreed-upon procedures engagement for Tier 4 of the Audit Act” for the period June 30, 2015 to June 30, 2018. The company also agreed to apply additional procedures to assess the 18 findings identified in the RCLC 2018 Special Audit and reference those findings where applicable in the Tier 4 level audit reports.
In response to reports that the six audit reports had been received by the RCLC board, the Los Alamos Reporter requested copies. Executive director Eric Vasquez responded that he would provide them once the RCLC receives a final release letter from the OSA.
“We cannot release any details on the audits until then as, pursuant to New Mexico State Auditor Rule, Title 2, Chapter 2 Part 2, the ‘Agency personnel and the agency’s IPA shall not release information to the public relating to the audit until the audit report is released by the OSA, and has become a public record’,” he said.