Bullock Administration’s Incompetence Nearly Cost Us, Concerns Remain …
While Moody’s announced that our AA+ bond rating is unlikely to be affected by the Bullock administration’s incompetence and mismanagement of taxpayer dollars, they still expressed concern over the weaknesses in the state’s ability to properly account for this money.
Last week, it was reported that auditors found 125 significant accounting errors by the Bullock administration, with many of these errors individually amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars.
The auditor’s findings mark the first time an adverse report has ever been issued on Montana’s finances. And, these disturbing findings threatened Montana’s fiscal health and could have cost Montana taxpayers millions of dollars.
The Montana Standard Editorial Board wrote, “The overall picture should be disturbing to every Montana taxpayer.”
After nearly a week of silence, Governor Bullock finally commented on this accounting debacle, calling it “unacceptable.”
Yet, the Bullock administration refuses to take responsibility for their high-level of incompetence:
- Bullock’s budget director Dan Villa called these 125 significant accounting errors a “fluke” and “simple.”
- Villa described one of these errors as “three zeros had been left off the figures.”
- Villa said these errors don’t mean tax dollars were misappropriated or hidden, but as the Montana Standard Editorial Board wrote: “Given the nature of the errors in oversight, it is all but impossible to know if Villa is correct in that assertion.”
- As far as we know, no one has been fired over these serious errors.
- Instead, state accountant Julie Feldman who oversaw the department responsible for these significant errors was transferred to work in another department.
Here are a few examples of the Bullock administration’s mismanagement of our tax dollars:
- Misstated Montana’s infrastructure liabilities by $1 billion.
- Misrepresented natural resource grants and contributions by $445 million.
- Incorrectly accounted for hundreds of millions of dollars in expenses.
- Failed to report $62 million in bonds.
- Missed transfers of nearly $48 million.