State auditor retracts City of Williston audit

Published: Oct. 30, 2019 at 10:41 AM CDT
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State Auditor Josh Gallion says they are retracting the 2018 audit of the City of Williston.

Gallion had several concerns about the City’s finances, but the City of Williston says they were not given enough time to respond before their annual audit was published, and there was missing information.

The state auditor will now take the new information into consideration.

“We work with the city auditor, and what we found out today was that the city administrator and the attorney had additional information to provide, and so we’re going to receive that, take that into consideration, and that’s why we’re going to retract the report, and potentially revise it, and re-issue it,” said Gallion

In the audit, Gallion had concerns that a joint-venture between the City of Williston and Cardon Global was not disclosed.

City of Williston Administrator David Tuan says it actually doesn’t exist. There was also a concern about an executive session that happened in 2015, where minutes were not provided. During the public portion of the meeting, the City says they did identify the reason for the executive session, which is an acceptable alternative.

The auditor had concerns about $92 million of debt for the XWA project that was not disclosed, as well as a grant that they say wasn’t applied for on time. Tuan says and this is the first time in a long time that the City of Williston has not hired a private company to do its audit, and had the state do it instead.

Tuan added: “We have a pretty thorough team that’s been doing the review and the grant application process for a number of years, so not having been involved with that. It’s probably understandable why the state auditor would question some of these practices, but they’re also not as familiar with these practices, so there’s an effort that the city will make now in follow-up to ensure that everything is very clear to them on how we not only submit our information, but how we track our records.”

Tuan says there are areas of improvement within the City, and the Gallion says the state will have a re-issued version of the audit as soon as possible