Audit of treasurer’s bond sales to be discussed in December

LITTLE ROCK — State Treasurer Martha Shoffner is expected to appear before the Legislative Joint Auditing Committee next month to discuss a state audit critical of how her office sold state bonds, lawmakers were told Tuesday.

Jon Moore, a deputy legislative auditor, said auditors will present results of an audit of the remaining 18 bond sales her office made between July 1, 2011, and May 17, 2012.

In September, an audit of 12 of the 30 bond sales found that Shoffner’s office sold bonds from its investment portfolio to selected brokers before the bonds reached maturity and later purchased bonds from the same investment brokers. The audit concluded that if the bonds had been allowed to mature the state would have made an additional $58,172.

“The audit committee requested that we go back and look at all the bond transactions where they sold bonds early,” Moore said. “Our previous report we reported on 12 of those transactions and in total there are 30 and that will go to the full committee … on Dec. 14 at 9 a.m.”

Moore updated the Arkansas Legislative Council and the Joint Budget Committee on the status of the audit before the two panels reviewed the state treasurer’s proposed budget for the 2013-2014 fiscal year.

The office’s current budget is about $4.1 million and she is requesting the same for the next fiscal year, along with restoration of $75,000 for capital outlays.

Shoffner waited outside the committee room Tuesday as lawmakers were briefed on the budget but since there were no questions for her she didn’t testify.