Chicago City Wire

Chicago City Wire

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Illinois six months overdue filing its 2018 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report

Local Government

By Glenn Minnis | Jun 29, 2019

Illinios Comptroller Susana Mendoza, left, with members of her staff

Bill Bergman, director of research for government watchdog organization Truth In Accounting, is at a loss as to why the release of Illinois' 2018 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) is more than six months late.

“Illinois has been extremely late this year and we really don’t know now why,” Bergman told Chicago City Wire. “There are some concerns expressed by the state comptroller [Susana] Mendoza that the former administration might be an issue. That she’s bringing that up now as opposed to earlier, there’s some question of if she’s accurate in that assessment.”

With the first week of July set to officially mark the start of a new fiscal year, Mendoza recently voiced concerns in a press release about the slow pace of the process. While Mendoza’s office is responsible for compiling the data of all CAFR reports submitted to the government for an audit that is performed by the Illinois Auditor General, the release noted that none of that can take place if any of the reports are outstanding.

Truth in Accounting Director of Research Bill Bergman

“Illinois had been improving in recent years,” Bergman said. “Something has come out of the blue this year. One possibility is that just as in 2015, when net pension liability was introduced to the balance sheet, and this year post-employment benefits and retirement health care liabilities should be arriving, and that may be a harder thing to account for.”

Bergman said he’s sure all the agencies involved want to get things squared away and fully reported as quickly as they can.

“They are only drawing more attention to themselves by being so late,” he said. “It lets you know something is put there that makes this a longer year. We're much longer than 2015, which was the year the net pension was introduced.”

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