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UDWI REMC Releases Phase Two of Internal Controls Audit
Updated August 28, 2017 8:07 AM | Filed under: Utilities
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(BLOOMFIELD) - Utilities District of Western Indiana REMC board of directors released information on the second phase of its internal controls audit.

The board voted to move forward with the audit in May, following a push from member-owners who had concerns about the electric cooperative's rates.

The internal controls audit is being done in phases, with the first phase was completed in June.

As of the last UDWI REMC board of directors meeting, board president Ron Thompson says the board will not be releasing the details of the first phase - which focused on financial, budgetary and operational activities on the recommendation of their lawyer. In addition, he cited an ongoing FBI investigation which may call for use of the information.

Though, after the results of the audit were released to the board, a decision was made to relieve CEO Brian Sparks of his duties with the company, stating, "Upon our review of the information from the internal audit, and after much thoughtful deliberation, we determined Mr. Sparks did not fulfill management expectations for UDWI."

On Friday, the board released an 11-page report put together by independent auditing company Blue and Co. with information about the second phase of the audit, focusing on board governance and accounting policies and procedures.

The release can be viewed here.

The summary of the second phase of the audit, which can be found online at www.udwiremc.com

The board released a press release on Friday explaining some of the second phase of the audit.

"The auditors reviewed UDWI's processes for business functions, and compared them to best practices for organizations similar to the cooperative in an effort to identify ways to strengthen the organization," the press release explains. "The report includes recommendations ranging from vendor selection, staff purchasing limits, paid time off, and proper documentation of credit card and cash purchases to budget review and check cashing procedures."

Thompson noted in the press release it was member concerns which pushed the board toward pursuing the audit and therein releasing some of the information.

"We have listened to our members' concerns and will use the audit findings to make sure that the way UDWI functions is in the best interest of our members," said UDWI Board President Ron Thompson. "Some of the recommendations identified in the audit, such as a more stringent review of the budget and board oversight for vendor payments, are already underway, and we will continue to implement new policies that will make our cooperative stronger."

Thompson says the board intends to address each area of the audit results, and work with staff to improve and enforce the policies and procedures in place.

The summary of the second phase of the audit, which can be found online at www.udwiremc.com, states, "The objective of this internal control review was to assist UDWI in evaluating its internal control environment over the two business functions and identify control strengths and opportunities for improvement."

The next phase of the changes at UDWI REMC involve hiring a new CEO. Currently Dan Arnold is serving in an interim capacity until a new chief executive officer can be hired. Hoosier Energy is serving as the facilitator to help find a good fit for the position.



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