Audit: New Mexico Higher Ed Dept. lacks financial controls

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A newly released audit has found that the New Mexico Higher Education Department lacks adequate controls to oversee financial reporting and erroneously is recording investments.

The audit released Tuesday by New Mexico Auditor Tim Keller claims the department didn’t follow policies and procedures in 2016 and recorded around $3 million in the Lottery Tuition Fund in the wrong year. The audit also says the department overstated federal grants receivables.

Overall, the audit, conducted with an independent accounting firm, contained 18 findings.

A spokeswoman for the New Mexico Higher Education Department did not immediately return an email or a phone message.

State Auditor Tim Keller says recent budget cuts are preventing the department from hiring staff to provide financial oversight.