Auditors Give AVTA Clean Bill of Health

The results are in! An independent audit of AVTA’s finances and internal controls found no significant findings to report, according to representatives from Windes and McClaughry Accountancy Corp. The auditors announced the good news during the monthly meeting of the AVTA Board of Directors.

“We have come so far over the past two years and the credit goes to the AVTA’s hard-working staff guided by the terrific leadership of AVTA’s Executive Director Julie Austin,” stated Chairman of the Board Norm Hickling. “We were in dire straits in December of 2011, but now our financial books are in order and the independent audit confirms we are on the road to success.”

The AVTA is required by law to conduct an independent financial audit on an annual basis because it is a recipient of federal, state and local funding. Auditors inspected financial records for the 2011/12 fiscal year which ended on June 30, 2012.

“A statement of no findings is equivalent to an A+ on a test,” exclaimed Executive Director Julie Austin. “We are extremely pleased to be moving beyond our previous state of disarray and we are looking forward to focusing our efforts on upcoming service changes that will enhance transit in the community.”

The AVTA became the focus of public scrutiny two years ago after allegations of misappropriated funds and other financial improprieties surfaced. Three top administrators resigned their positions and the case remains under investigation by the District Attorney’s Office. During the following year, the AVTA became the focus of numerous federal audits that reported 75 significant findings which had to be addressed.

The AVTA serves a population of more than 400,000 residents in the cities of Lancaster and Palmdale as well as the unincorporated portions of northern Los Angeles County. Its total service area covers 1,200 square miles and it is bounded by the Kern County line to the north, the San Bernardino County line to the east, the Angeles National Forest to the south, and Interstate 5 to the West.