KAYSVILLE -- The State Auditor's Office, after an extensive investigation into Kaysville city's internal budget practices, has identified five areas of weakness that require "correction or improvement," including how the city bids projects and how "certain" departments have exceeded budget seven of the last eight years.
Details of the state's findings and recommendations were brought to the attention of the Standard-Examiner on Thursday by Kaysville Mayor Steve Hiatt.
The state auditor's office indicated a report could be made public on the state website by Thursday evening or Friday morning.
The city is unwilling to go on the defensive as it relates to the report or the state recommendations, Hiatt said.
"Over the past few years we have worked hard at adopting a culture of doing things better," Hiatt said. "We appreciate the recommendations of the State Auditor's Office and accept them in the spirit of cooperation."
Hiatt said the city will move swiftly to implement their recommendations in a quick and efficient manner.
"We have already had conversations with our city staff about these recommendations. Our staff does a great job and we are an exceptionally well run city, but like every organization we should always strive to do things better," Hiatt said.
The Office of the Utah State Auditor investigated multiple allegations related to Kaysville city bookkeeping, according to a Sept. 25 letter from the state to Hiatt and the City Council.
Copies of the findings were also provided to City Manager John Thacker and City Finance Director Dean Storey.
"We performed this investigation as a result of concerns reported to us through our Hotline," according to a letter signed by Utah State Auditor John Dougall.
"A number of allegations were unsubstantiated; however, some resulted in identified areas which require correction or improvement," Dougall said.
Among the areas identified were the city's use of its electrical fund to buy property for economic development purposes without properly notifying its rate payers; the city not charging city departments for utility services; city departments exceeding budget; inconsistent bid solicitation and an unclear purchasing policy."
The city's written purchasing policies and procedures are unclear and contradictory in some places, according to the state's findings.
The city also did not use uniform and consistent information when soliciting bids for the purchase of computer equipment, with the state recommending that the city ensure "all purchase solicitations are uniform and consistent."
Kaysville city officials maintain that was an isolated incident.
The two areas in which the state provided the most narrative detail in its findings were the city using power funds to buy property for economic development purposes and not notifying rate payers; and the city not charging city departments for utility services.
The state recommends the city meter and bill city departments for utility services at the same rate charged other customers of the utility, and the city review previous years' city departments utility usage and reimburse the utility funds for services used.
Regarding power funds being used to buy property for economic development, Kaysville citizens through a signature petition has placed on the Nov. 5 municipal ballot a proposition that if approved would prevent city leaders from spending power funds outside that budget without notifying rate payers. The city owns its own power plant.
"By its nature, this letter focuses on exceptions, weaknesses, and problems," Dougall said. "This focus should not be understood to mean there are not also various strengths and accomplishments," he said.
Contact reporter Bryon Saxton at 801-625-4244 or email@example.com, or follow him on Twitter at @BryonSaxton.