Legislative Auditor’s Report on Mayor Perkins Released
The Louisiana Legislative Auditor released their report on Mayor Perkins' decision to change the city's Agent on Record, (AOR) for the city's excess workers' insurance compensation policy did not comply with city policy or the city charter. According to the report:
Although required by the City Charter, the workers’ compensation insurance coverage amount was not approved by the City Council. In addition, changes of the AOR occurred without a request for proposal as required by the City’s purchasing policy.
There were also questions related to travel expenses submitted by the mayor from 2019-2021 where Mayor Perkins:
...took 23 trips, totaling $35,845. Sixteen of the trips included expenses totaling $3,210, that may have violated City of Shreveport travel and procurement and travel card policies and procedures. In addition, 16 of the Mayor’s 23 travel expense statements (69.7%) were completed between 31 and 101 days after the event.
The Legislative Audit also found Perkins travel expenses included $2,899 of charges that occurred on the weekends, but did not include an itinerary indicating whether or not they were work related. The expenses included lodging, meals, transportation, fuel, and parking. The report concludes:
Some of the expenses may have violated City travel or procurement and travel card policies and procedures. The Mayor reimbursed the City $681 for some of the policy violations in 2019 and 2020, but has not reimbursed the City for the remainder of possible policy violations in 2021
The following are 7 recomendations from the Legislative Auditor:
1. Comply with City Charter and City purchasing policies for all purchases including purchases of insurance;
2. Ensure travel expenses comply with City policy and the Code of Governmental Ethics;
3. Closely monitor and document any instances where a third party pays the travel expenses of City officials;
4. Obtain and maintain documentation to support business purpose of all travel;
5. Ensure the travel is necessary and will benefit the City;
6. Ensure only business-related expenses charged to City when traveling; and
7. Ensure all violations of policy are reimbursed to the City.
Mayor Perkins responded to the report on Monday in a statement saying he will reimburse the city for all expenses that the audit reveals may have violated the city's travel policies and procedures.
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