The Office of the State Auditor this month released two financial audit reports on the state’s transportation programs this month, finding there were few problems with bookkeeping in the past two fiscal years.
The sole recommendation came for the Colorado Bridge Enterprise, where the accounting firm BKD, LLP found that staff improperly reduced expenses by $7.3 million during fiscal year 2019. CBE did not adequately review non-routine journal entries and annual financial statements.
CBE agreed with the finding and has agreed to fix the deficiency by June 2020.
The entity dates from a 2009 law known as FASTER, which also authorized a bridge maintenance fee tacked on to motor vehicle registrations. As a “government-owned business,” CBE finances, repairs and replaces the worst-condition bridges in the state.
CBE is generally exempt from revenue caps under the Taxpayer Bill of Rights and may issue bonds to accelerate repairs. In the most recent fiscal year, the enterprise completed repairs on 148 projects. The assets of CBE totaled $1.3 billion as of June 30.
Separately, BKD evaluated the finances of the High Performance Transportation Enterprise, another creation of FASTER. Its responsibilities include imposing tolls and user fees, issuing bonds and securing public-private partnerships for the construction or operation of transportation projects.
HPTE had assets of $610 million as of June 30, an increase of 10% over the prior year.