LOS LUNAS — The village of Los Lunas received a clean audit for the fiscal year 2020 as reported during the May 6 village council meeting.

According to a presentation by Patillo, Brown and Hill LLP, the village’s audit had no findings. The village had only one finding from the fiscal year 2019, which was a lack of compliance with the procurement code, marked as resolved.

Village finance director Rebeckah Klein said following last year’s audit, the finance division went in and taught the department with the violations of the correct procedures to avoid problems in the future. She said it was a relief to hear that the village did not have any problems this year.

“Each year, we go through our annual audit and we take that as a learning opportunity to improve on any deficiencies that the auditor may find,” Klein said.

According to Klein, a clean audit with no findings is difficult to achieve and takes a lot of work and coordination from several village departments to ensure that village ordinances and state statutes are being followed across the board.

“I think it’s just a team effort of continuously reminding each other of what we need to do to do a good job,” she said.

According to the 2019 audit, the auditors found during its procurement test, the village did not follow proper procurement procedures for two out of five vendors tested

“The amount of each contract was $60,000 and $300,000 respectively,” the 2019 audit stated.

The audit went on to say the violations included a purchase that was initially below the professional services threshold, but after the price grew above the allotted threshold without the required paperwork to accompany it, which violates state statute.

In the other case, the village did not get the required bids for a service contract.

Los Lunas Mayor Charles Griego said he was very happy with this year’s audit.

“It’s something that makes myself, as mayor, very happy, and the council, we were extremely pleased to get those reports,” Griego said. “But also, it’s a reflection of the work of all the team members in the village administration to get us to that clean audit stage.

“I think we’ve had good audits (in the past) but I think we’ve always had findings. Last year, we had one finding in the audit and I think this year this is just the next step in the evolution of our process in getting better.

“It’s a lot of discipline, a lot of work, and a lot of people’s efforts,” the mayor added. “Our purchasing department, our finance director, our village administrator and our supervisors all buy into the correct processes that we have to have to account for public monies.”

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Makayla Grijalva was born and raised in Las Cruces. She is a 2020 graduate of The University of New Mexico, where she studied multimedia journalism, political science and history. She covers the village of Los Lunas, Los Lunas Schools, SODA and the town of Peralta.