Why Baltimore’s Recent CAFRs are MIA, “Audit Baltimore” Tells Us.

I had been posting statewide CAFRs, and decided to pop in a few major city’s CAFRs — Boston, Baltimore’s.  I couldn’t find Baltimore’s, though!  2009 was the most recent I could find, and I found it on the city’s Audits page:

CITY OF BALTIMORE COMPREHENSIVE ANNUAL FINANCIAL REPORT FY 2008 1/7/09

and the Single-Audit:

SINGLE AUDIT OF CITY OF BALTIMORE FY ENDED 6/30/09 10/20/10

This led into a long, and informative, digression on my part on what I DID find on Baltimore’s Audits page, which was (to put it mildly) a little overwhelming in scope of outright fraud and chutzpah, a mess.

MENTORING CHILDREN OF INCARCERATED PARENTS GRANT PROGRAM NUMBER 90CV0215 AWARDED TO THE MAYOR’S OFFICE FOR CHILDREN, YOUTH & FAMILIES (BALTIMORE RISING, INC.) FROM THE U.S. DEPT OF HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES FY PERIOD 6/30/04 – 12/31/07 4/16/09

there was a follow-up review as well, in which it was determined that the HHS wasn’t (at this point) too intertested in reclaiming a three- year, $900,000 grant on the basis that most of its handling was, er, ah, not very well supported, there’d been double-billing and many more questionable practices.  I also looked at the vendor who was double billed and caught in the act, “only” $25,000″ (a pop), which itself turns out to be (in my opinion, and from what I can tell) an exceedingly questionable — which seems to be typical of the field — fatherhood-style organization, allegedly a nonprofit, but not per IRS records and not per the State of Maryland records, although they DID show some aborted attempts?? for the group (Urban Leadership Institute) on the map, at least as a corporation.  This you can read (it being off-topic here) on my (somewhat recent) post:

IS Baltimore Rising (Inc)? City CPA audits HHS “Mentoring Children of Incarcerated Parents” Grant, again.

So, below, this may explain why I was unable to locate the 2011 “CAFR” for the City of Baltimore (as  opposed to parts of the City of Baltimore, like some Employee Retirement funds…).

It is from an article on “where are the 2010 and 2011 CAFRs” and other questions on the City’s auditing practices, these questions having been answered by the City’s Comptroller.  I’ll have these on three different-background colors (arbitrary) representing three different articles, and then finish with my comments that, had we ALL been encouraged to get a hold of CAFRs and read them, these guys might be better on their toes.  It really is a PUBLIC responsibility to keep the government in check.

Chalk it up to the learning curve….

Honorable Joan M. Pratt, CPA
Baltimore City Comptroller

Pratt responds to audit questions

Amid public scrutiny of Baltimore’s auditing practices, the city’s comptroller explains her department’s procedures and pastAugust 13, 2012

By Joan Pratt (note:  Joan Pratt is the City’s Comptroller)

On July 30, The Sun published an op-ed by Mary Alice Ernish, founder of the grassroots non-profit Audit Baltimore, which contained a series of questions about the city’s auditing practices. This week, Comptroller Joan Pratt, who oversees the city’s auditors, provided responses.

Why have some city agencies not been audited in over three decades?

The city’s financial statements, which are prepared by the Department of Finance, include all of the expenses and revenues of all city agencies. These expenses and revenues are tested as part of the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR). This testing determines if the expenditures and revenue are recorded properly and in accordance with city policy and procedures. Therefore, although individual audits have not been performed for all agencies, the CAFR provides assurances that the financial statements are presented fairly. Similarly, the federal financial assistance to agencies is included in the city’s annual Single Audit.

Why were copies of the 2010 and 2011 CAFR’s not available on the comptroller’s website?

A material internal control weakness was identified by Ernst and Young and the Department of Audits in the 2010 CAFR. This finding was presented to the Department of Finance, and it did not agree that a material weakness in internal controls existed. Subsequently, the finance department concurred, and in order to resolve the issues identified as the material weakness, the 2010 CAFR was recalled and is now in the process of being restated. The 2011 CAFR cannot be completed until the 2010 CAFR is restated.


In another article, the Comptroller argues that it’s duplicate effort, which isn’t a good use of taxpayer money:

By Luke Broadwater and The Baltimore Sun | August 13, 2012
Arguing that a proposal for increased city audits would result in duplicated efforts and wasteful spending, Baltimore Comptroller Joan Pratt and City Auditor Robert L. McCarty have submitted a letter to members of the City Council asking them to amend the hotly debated audits bill, which is set for a vote Monday evening.  “Much of the work that is performed each year … is the same work that would be performed in the audit of agencies,” Pratt…
Apparently this question of the audits was on the Nov. 6th?? Ballot as “Measure M.”  Here’s a link to podcast with Ms. Ernish, on “the Marc Steiner Show” (I have not heard it, just FYI):

October 31, 2012 – Segment 4

Submitted by CEM on October 31, 2012 – 2:39pm.
The Marc Steiner Show

We discuss ballot Question M, which deals with audits of city agencies. We’ll be joined by Mary Ernish, founder of Audit Baltimore, and Baltimore City Councilpeople Rikki Spector and Carl Stokes.

However, you will notice she is upfront talking about the CAFRs and what goes into them. So was the person questioning her, who has apparently founded a nonprofit to question what goes on in Baltimore such that it can’t seem to fly straight when it comes to financial accountability:

Eight questions about Baltimore’s auditors
City Council needs answers before it decides on new requirements for vetting agency finances (July 30, 2012 ~ By Mary Alice Ernish)

Recent disclosures about the failure of Baltimore City to conduct regular departmental, agency and program audits in over three decades have informed and enlivened the typically staid City Council meetings. City residents and taxpayers rightfully are seeking answers about exactly how the city spends their hard-earned tax dollars. They are looking for written proof in the form of specific departmental and agency audits to demonstrate that the city is conducting its financial affairs responsibly.

This is a statewide concern. Baltimore City draws on large streams of state funding, so all Maryland residents have a stake in the Baltimore audit issue….

The Taxation, Finance and Economic Development committee of City Council plans to conduct a belated investigative hearing into the practices of the audit office. But this will not take place until after it votes on a charter amendment that was originally intended to require audits of all city agencies every two years. The last version of this bill proposes an audit of 14 of the city’s largest departments on a four year cycle, but we do not yet know what the final legislation will look like.

In the meantime, the public and City Council members may want to consider asking Comptroller Joan Pratt and city auditors Robert L. McCarty Jr. and Gail F. Adams the following questions in order to better inform any revision of this important bill:

Why have the Recreation and Parks, Transportation and Public Works departments not been audited in over three decades?

Why are individual financial statements of city departments, agencies, offices and programs not being prepared?

Please explain the procedure by which the monthly or annual financial data of the component units of the city (i.e., departments, agencies, etc.,) are collected and transmitted for inclusion in the city’s annual financial audit or Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR). This document, required to be filed with the state, outlines the overall financial condition of the city but does not evaluate in detail the revenues and expenditures of individual departments or agencies.

Why isn’t the person who knows about the CAFRs and is wanting more audits, putting time, energy and if possible/available, a little money, into publicizing to others the existence of CAFRs and starting a dialogue about them?   Just as a well-heeled nonprofit in Illinois (Institute for Truth in Accounting) hasn’t, either — although at least if you look REAL hard, you can find them on IFTA’s website, after which, no help offered in digesting them.

What would happen if you went up to a soup-line, or a welfare waiting room, or other places where people are being treated like idiots, and started explaining to at least some of them, what this means — before they go into be interrogated and threatened for possibly stealing $15 or even $100 inappropriately from some benefits?

How reliable is the CAFR given that Bureau of Budget and Management Director Andrew Kleine admitted in a May 23, 2012 memo that “most city agencies, boards and commissions do not prepare annual financial statements, and lack the expertise to prepare these documents“?

A copy of the CAFR for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2009 is available on the comptroller’s website. Copies for the fiscal years ending 2010 and 2011 are not. Were these reports made? When will they be publicly available? When were copies filed with the state of Maryland?

•Many city charters, such as those for Dallas, Denver and Nashville require the preparation and approval of an annual audit plan. Denver City Auditor Dennis J. Gallagher says the annual audit work plan for Denver “facilitates an efficient allocation of limited audit resources on a risk-basis; provides a flexible mechanism for managing competing audit needs; eliminates the potential overlapping of audits with other audit organizations, and provides a sound foundation for obtaining sufficient budgetary funds required to execute our mission. “

FYI, Denver’s 2011 CAFR even has a color-coded organizational chart, for what it’s worth.  I see from the chart that too much power is under the Mayor’s Office (exec branch), true of most governments around, per their organizational charts I’ve seen in the CAFRs so far.  No wonder we can’t get justice around here – -no balance of power!

Does either the comptroller’s office or city auditor’s office prepare an annual audit plan? If so, to whom, or where is this plan transmitted, and where can citizens of Baltimore obtain a copy?

Given that the comptroller sits on and reports to the Board of Estimates, are audit findings communicated to the Board of Estimates on an annual basis, and if so in what manner?

The Board of Estimates comes up a lot in the two “mentoring children of incarcerated parents” audits (for Baltimore, specifically) in the 2009 & 2010 audits.  Specifically, contracts (as I recall), i.e., expenditures, weren’t cleared through them properly. As far as I know, not only does this represent a “measly” $900,000, but also ALL the organizations and personnel involved that did this, if not held accountable, will go out and do it again.  In my post, I documented some of them who did — it’s definitely a pattern.

When and by which external auditor(s) was the last independent audit of the comptroller’s office completed?

•In the past five years has the city auditor received any formal requests for specific audits by any members of the City Council? By the mayor? By the general public? If so, which if any, of these audits were completed? What were actual audit recoveries for the past fiscal five years, as opposed to the expected audit recoveries mentioned on the comptroller’s website?

•Baltimore’s charter requires the comptroller’s office to comply with federal government auditing standards, which call for at least one external peer review every three years. The peer review report conducted by the Association for Local Government Auditors this past January observed that Baltimore’s last independent peer review was dated July 26, 2006 and covered the quality control system in effect for the year ended December 31, 2005. Why had no peer reviews been conducted in the intervening years?

Mary Alice Ernish is the founder of Audit Baltimore, a non-partisan grassroots group to promote government transparency and fiscal reform through research, public education and legislative advocacy. She is conducting an independent review of best auditing practices among the 26 largest U.S. cities. Her email is auditbaltimore@gmail.com.

 

She is asking very many good questions, but I believe not the most important ones, which are at a larger basis.  She’s not there yet, and demanding the system work better – and more audits will do so.

Here’s an example of what I would call some very good questions, although not specific to Baltimore:  It’s in the form of an interview with C.A. Fitts

Straight Talk with Catherine Fitts:  We are Victims of a Financial Coup D’Etat
1. Despite (or perhaps because of) your time as Assistant Secretary of Housing under Bush Sr., you are extremely critical of the government’s financial stewardship. What, if anything, changes with administrations and how much is institutionally baked into the cake?

The federal financial model is institutional, and its ultimate governance is outside of the government.

This, seems me, relates to our recent Election — see next two paragraphs:

The choice of candidates impacts the quality of the political appointees, which factions get the large portion of the benefits of controlling the flow of contracts and pork, numerous incremental policies, as well as the tone of the Administration.

However, the federal government lacks sovereignty. It lacks financial sovereignty – it is financially dependent on the banks that control its depository and slush funds, create the currency through the Federal Reserve and manage the accumulated capital of the same syndicates outside the government.

It lacks information sovereignty as its data, information, and payments systems are controlled and operated by private corporations, primarily defense contractors. If we could dig out the true ownership of both banks and defense contractors, my guess is that it would look identical.

From who is collecting child support, setting up information clearinghouses, etc. etc. — I’d have to agree.  Some of the background of the corporations.

Finally, the members of the Administration have no way of guaranteeing their safety and the safety of their families if they defy orders of those who have the weaponry and power to enforce their will by any means necessary.

This means that essentially there is no government as many of us think of it. It also means that the governmental mechanism is quite fractured, with many competing interests that lack an organizing mission. They simply share an organizing imperative to control and concentrate credit and cash flow and to enforce the liquidity of currency and credit that makes the system go.

Since WWII, the American economy has been “fiscalized.” By that I mean that {{#1}} most households, state and municipal governments, and local economies have become highly dependent on federal government credit, contracts, subsidies, and other forms of income and {{#2}} are heavily regulated by federal agencies.

This widespread dependency on the federal financial mechanism is the basis for extraordinary central control.
….

1996 WELFARE REFORM ALONE MOVED THIS FOWARD EXTRAORDINARILY, ALTHOUGH WHEN I RE-READ THE 1935 SOCIAL SECURITY ACT (WHICH I SKIMMED A GOOD PART OF, TODAY — SEE FAMILYCOURTMATTERS BLOG — AT SOME POINT WE HAVE TO SEE SIMPLY ADMIT — THE COUNTRY WAS SET UP TO EXTRACT FUNDING AND PUT IT UNDER CENTRALIZED CONTROL, RIGHT AFTER A (CREATED) EMERGENCY.

More “Ms. Fitts”

There is widespread political support for the federal credit mechanism to continue to extract global subsidy through a policy of printing dollars and Treasury bonds, forcing people around the world to take them, and using them to attract and engage in trillions of financial fraud and covert capital and operations.

Between 1998 and 2002, over $4 trillion went missing from the federal government. During the Clinton, Bush, and Obama administrations, the US Treasury has consistently refused to produce audited financial statements, as required by law since 1995, or account for missing funds. This is two decades of financial operations run completely outside of the US Constitution and the law.

In short, whether from the centralized private interests that own and control the federal financial mechanism or a large population that is financially dependent on it, the fundamental economics are institutionalized.

. . .

The institutions that engineered the housing bubble and the financial crisis have been richly rewarded with $12 trillion in bailouts, expanded access to the federal credit, and government assumption for the debt and liabilities of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

…{{“government” meaning, taxpayers and laborers…}}

Wall Street and Washington issued trillions in fraudulent securities, used it to gain control over trillions in assets, and then were able to engineer the taxpayers refinancing out the fraudulent paper. Think of this as a leveraged buyout of a planet.

To the victors go the spoils. That is why we are seeing the people who engineered the coup so richly rewarded.

Richard Dolan has referred to parts of the military industrial complex as “the breakaway civilization.” That is a good description as we now have groups that have stolen trillions and are confident in their ability to keep it.

This plan was, obviously, comprehensive, entailed coordination of massive resources, entailed (naturally) secrecy, the ability to use force, and in short, it took some serious strategy.  Plus a willingness to kill, by either starvation, soldiers, or other means.  Historically speaking, long-term, this is basically the work of emperors, monarchies (dictatorships) and/or, dare I mention religion here?
{{ON reviewing this, I’m going to put parts of it into a separate post; it’s good summary…and exhortation.  She talks about choosing associations well, and watching out for slow burn of (one’s) energy, etc.}}

Back to Baltimore:

Looking up Ms. Ernish, I found a July 16, article referring to an earlier generation of Baltimore’s Comptroller & Mayor (1951, specifically) and then brings up the closing of FIRE ENGINE services without an audit of the city’s finances. Everyone has some angle, so what is this author’s?…

OPINION:  BALTIMORE’S FINANCES NEED A GOOD SCRUBBING (July 16, 2012, in “The Baltimore Brew”)

If he were around today, the self-proclaimed “Watchdog of Baltimore” would not passively look on as the majority of the City Council, like a litter of obedient lap dogs, abdicates power to Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake on the proposed audit charter amendment.

An amended measure, known as Bill 12-053, is scheduled to come before the Council at its meeting tonight.

The bill has a number of flaws, including the “compromise” struck by the Council’s Judiciary and Legislative Investigations Committee to limit biennial audits to 14 (out of about 55) city agencies and departments.

The Council, Mayor Rawlings-Blake and City Comptroller Joan Pratt need to take a page from Hyman Pressman. They need to do a lot better.

Needed: A Major Overhaul

Revelations about alleged improprieties with the Digicon phone contract and cascading water-bill fiascos – not just that regular citizens get overbilled, but that industrial users like RG Steel Sparrows Point don’t bother to pay at all – indicate that Baltimore City is in dire need of a financial housecleaning.

The fact that large and important city agencies, such as Recreation and Parks, Transportation and Public Works, have not been audited in three decades or more underscores the pressing need for reform at City Hall.

Comptroller Pratt says she would like to do additional audits, but that the mayor won’t give her the money. Budget Director Andrew Kleine estimates that the cost of the audits proposed by the charter amendment would start at $1 million but does not mention any anticipated recaptured costs. The Mayor publicly says she supports additional audits, but insists that the responsibility rests with the Comptroller.

Let’s stop the finger pointing and get real about the situation.

What We Don’t Know

For example, the Mayor decided to close several fire companies as part of budget-cutting measures. This decision was made without the benefit of any audit. The decision will hurt property owners near the closed fire companies in the form of increased property insurance bills, since hazard insurance rates vary with distance to and response time from the nearest fire station.

An audit of the Baltimore City Fire Department might have prevented these closures. The cities of San Diego and Philadelphia recently completed Fire-Rescue and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) audits.

San Diego, meaning, the famous “Enron by the Sea?”   Where do we want to start, about nonprofits based in this area, dealing with the courts, and not filing their returns with the state of California, and/or the IRS?  (Contact me if you want links to some posts about it from the other blog)!

Sixteen-month-old Anton Manning looks at signatures by East Baltimore residents petitioning to keep Fire Company 15 open. City Hall closed the company without the benefit of any financial audit. (Photo by Mark Reutter)

Sixteen-month-old Anton Manning looks at signatures by East Baltimore residents petitioning to keep Fire Company 15 open. City Hall closed the company without the benefit of any audit. (Photo by Mark Reutter)

  • Employee’s Retirement System and Elected Officials Retirement System, which she currently chairs,
  • Expenditure Control Committee,
  • Space Utilization Committee, and
  • Architectural and Engineering Awards Commission.

They anticipate recapturing $10.9 million and $50 million, respectively, mostly from uncollected revenue.

That’s vastly more than the $900,000 – or less – that the Rawlings-Blake administration projects as savings from the fire company closures this year.

Budget Director Kleine says he “believes” that the fire department is also owed a great deal in uncollected revenue for its ambulance services.


…The IRS Exempt Organization list (as of a quick look) doesn’t show “Audit Baltimore” at least IN Baltimore, or IN Maryland and there is no corporation by that name in Maryland.  Or, in the 990 Finder, OR in the NCCSdataweb.urban.org nonprofit finder at least under “active.”  That’s an awful lot of places for a prominent nonprofit NOT to show up; answers on why, are welcome.

A search on the name only didn’t show up much, but this article indicates Ms. Ernish (if same person) isn’t liable to taking potential code violations sitting down, or to failing to follow up on points of interest, or doesn’t know how to get a story publicized (the photo below, it says, is courtesy Ms. Ernish and her husband):

Dust in the Wind

Did city workers fail to follow standard lead-abatement procedures in Union Square?

Photo: Photo courtesy Mary Ernish and Graham Mooney, License: N/A

By Edward Ericson Jr.

PUBLISHED: JUNE 8, 2011

When Mary Ernish saw the menscraping paintoff the front wall of 5 S. Stricker St., near her own home, she immediately thought: lead. Her husband, Graham Mooney, called 311 to report the apparently illegal activity. There were no building permits pulled for the property; the men began work on the Friday afternoon before the Memorial Day long weekend. They drove unmarked pickup trucks and wore no uniforms or insignia, she says.

“They’re not following any of the lead-safe procedures that would suggest to me they are certified,” says Ernish, who has a Master’s degree in health science from the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health.

Some evidence of this @ Grants.NIH.gov:

ERNISH, MARY A 5 F31HD041935-02

$51,194 Predoctoral Fellowship for Students With Disabilities JOHNS HOPKINS SCH OF PUB HEALTH DEPT OF POPULATION & FAM H SCI PO BOX 195/615 N WOLFE STREET

The house in question is owned by the Housing Authority of Baltimore City.

Ernish e-mailed Baltimore Housing and says she was told that city code enforcement doesn’t act against city agencies. When the workers returned on Tuesday, they did wrap the scaffold in plastic, she says, containing most of the dust, but they were not wearing any protective gear themselves and seemed unconcerned about what was getting out into the surrounding neighborhood. Ernish called the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which in April 2010 promulgated new regulations governing lead-paint removal. An EPA official appears to have opened an investigation. “We’re looking into it,” says Donna Herron, an EPA spokesperson.

Ernish also called the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). She and Mooney took pictures of the workmen and their trucks’ license plates. “We noticed immediately there were no precautions taken,” Mooney says. “One of the guys was wearing a 99-cent paper mask.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ Another article on the attempt to handle a charter amendment to require audits reminds me that, most people don’t know WTF their governments do, but are still expecting them to audit (or police) themselves, somehow.  If cities can’t audit their own expenses properly, then why are we still continuing to feed them so many millions up front and then go on HOPE?

“Curran” in the excerpt refers to a council person.  However, my only interest here was curiosity about how someone could have a nonprofit which is not a nonprofit.  “:rom “Baltimore City Paper:

Audit? I Hardly Know It! City Council goes forward with watered-down bill

By Edward Ericson Jr. PUBLISHED: JULY 25, 2012

After yet another contentious and confusing series of votes, the City Council passed a watered-down bill requiring audits of each of the 14 largest city departments and agencies at least once every four years—starting in 2014.

The weaker bill, shaped by a late series of amendments offered by Councilman Robert Curran (3rd district), was pre-approved by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s administration, Curran says: “Any legislation I do, I first go to the administration to see if they’re going to be all right with it.” Curran denies that the amendments came from an envelope mayoral aid Andrew Smullian handed him just before the meeting, as the Baltimore Brew reported. “They came from me,” Curran insists. “M-E.”

The mayor continues to claim that the city doesn’t need new audits, but for Comptroller Joan Pratt—with whom the mayor has been feuding with over a number of issues—to conduct proper audits is part of her job.

Asked the Friday before Curran’s ambush amendments why she’s not supporting a charter change to compel more audits, Rawlings-Blake frowned. “Why would it take a charter amendment for the comptroller to do her job?” the mayor snapped at a police department community-night event at the Western District headquarters. “Do I need a charter amendment to do my job?”

She’s got a point.  ALong those lines, I also say why does it take public employees to form nonprofit associations to do THEIR jobs, from which they form alliances and set policy that the public can’t possibly keep up with, while writing off the costs as part of their salaries, many times, and/or blending in some private money from time to time…

At the July 16 council meeting, chaos once again reigned as carefully calibrated compromise amendments—they would have required audits of the 14 major departments every two years, instead of the original bill’s requirement of semiannual audits of all 55 the city’s departments, boards, and commissions—were shot down in a 6-6 vote. (Rikki Spector, of the 5th district, who later said she supported the audit bill, was absent, as were Sharon Green Middleton, of the 8th district, and Helen Holton, of the 6th district.)

Curran then introduced nine new amendments he had handed to fellow council members just before the start of the meeting. Councilman Bill Henry (4th District) tried to table them but failed. The vote was called, but Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke (14th District) managed to sever one of the amendments—which would have foregone financial audits and required only performance audits. (Performance audits examine whether an organization is fulfilling its mission most efficiently; financial audits check all the figures, count the cash, and weigh any financial predictions and assumptions against generally accepted standards.) That amendment was defeated, 6-6, then the remaining eight amendments were passed by a split vote, with council members giving speeches explaining their votes.

The Nos—Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young, Henry, Councilman Carl Stokes (12th District) and Councilman Warren Branch (13th District)—said they opposed the bill now because it is too weak: “These should be done every year,” Young said. “Anything less than that is disrespectful to the voters.”


The United States Government itself has said in its own CAFR It doesn’t have sufficient internal controls, etc. I believe I have a link to it here, you can read for yourself. Why we should then think that states or cities would do much better, beats me. I feel that more of the public should start putting their heads into learning how things work (and pay attention) and that internal controls actually exist. For example, in my post (at other blog) it surfaced that there’s a “Baltimore City Foundation” {that’s a link to an article on its misue of funds} that simply lets agencies, once they open an account, spend. Basically.  This is also dated 2009….

Update: November 11, 2009 (see below)

Is there any worse way to skirt government ethics rules and misuse public money and position than via a charitable organization? And yet it happens again and again. This time it happened in Baltimore, according to the results of an extensive investigation by the Baltimore Sun.

{{well, whether it’s worse, or better, depends on one’s point of view…}}

The president of the foundation “insists that it is the city agencies’ responsibility, rather than his or the board’s, to ensure that the foundation money is spent in keeping with its nonprofit status. When he receives a request from City Hall to sign a check, it is not his job to challenge it, he said.” The board has to approve an agency setting up a foundation account, but after that, “the agency raises and spends money at its own discretion.” One board member said, “It’s [the city departments’] money. All we are is a fiduciary holding it for them until it is disbursed.” In other words, the board considers the foundation an extension of the city and therefore provides no oversight.

The lack of oversight also applies to the city itself. “The annual financial report for the city of Baltimore lists the City Foundation among several groups for which the city claims no financial accountability ‘beyond making appointments.'” In other words, each department or agency can use the foundation as it pleases, without being accountable to anyone.

While I’m here:

ORGANIZATION NAME

STATE

YEAR

TOTAL ASSETS

FORM

PAGES

EIN

Baltimore City Foundation MD 2011 $9,351,607 990 29 52-1212473
Baltimore City Foundation MD 2010 $9,093,570 990 20 52-1212473
Baltimore City Foundation MD 2009 $8,087,815 990 19 52-1212473
Baltimore City Foundation MD 2008 $7,768,459 990 19 52-1212473
Baltimore City Foundation MD 2007 $10,551,598 990 19 52-1212473
Baltimore City Foundation, Inc. MD 2006 $6,556,593 990 16 52-1212473

Interesting tax return (I looked at 2009).  They have more assets than income, earned ca. $456K investments — they have, like $6million invested in public-traded securities; and about $2 million under “other” as to contributions.  (I took just a quick glance, don’t quote that — look!).   The Mayor is on the board (volunteer) and one of the programs it’s running is Recreation and Parks (which came under scrutiny in the press, here, on the audits)…..It clearly says it acts as the fiscal agent for “an entity” (i.e., the City)….

The City’s Finance Director is a Board member (go figure); here’s a 2010 article:

Baltimore City Foundation Gets Off EasyMARCH 18, 2010

The City Council’s Judi­ciary and Leg­isla­tive Inves­ti­ga­tions Com­mit­tee met yes­ter­day for an inves­tiga­tive hear­ing on the Bal­ti­more City Foun­da­tion, a non­profit formed nearly 30 years ago to raise money for city pro­grams for the under­servedThe Bal­ti­more Sun pub­lished an arti­cle last fall reveal­ing that the little-known foun­da­tion was lack­ing in over­sight and account­abil­ity, and had spent some money in ways that seem­ingly had noth­ing to do with its mis­sion. At the time, some long­time mem­bers of the City Coun­cil said they did not even know the foun­da­tion existed.

Since the prob­lems with the foun­da­tion first came to the council’s atten­tion last fall, the com­mit­tee has been gath­er­ing reports from city agen­cies doc­u­ment­ing their involve­ment with the foun­da­tion.

Which they were deaf, dumb, and blind about before because . . . . . .???

At the meet­ing, com­mit­tee chair James Kraft (D-1st Dis­trict) held up a stack of reports from numer­ous agen­cies, includ­ing the Health Depart­ment, the Office of Emer­gency Man­age­ment, the Hous­ing Depart­ment, the Fire Depart­ment, and the Bal­ti­more Devel­op­ment Corporation.

Though the Sun arti­cle revealed sev­eral instances of ques­tion­able spend­ing on the part of the foundation—including thou­sands of dol­lars for for­mer Mayor Sheila Dixon’s inau­gu­ra­tion festivities—the hear­ing did not focus on them. “Our review of these doc­u­ments indi­cates that the vast major­ity, we’re talk­ing 95 per­cent, is stuff the city wants to do and that … the cit­i­zens want the city to be doing,” Kraft said. “The prob­lem has been that it really hasn’t been up front.”

By giv­ing money to the city through the foun­da­tion, donors are able to ear­mark their dol­lars for spe­cific projects and ben­e­fit from a tax deduc­tion. If they instead give the money directly to the city, it can­not be ear­marked and there are no asso­ci­ated tax ben­e­fits. But, com­mit­tee mem­bers com­plained, foun­da­tion funds have thus far been entirely invis­i­ble ele­ments of agency and depart­ment bud­gets. “It’s of value to us to know how much money is com­ing into these dif­fer­ent agen­cies and depart­ments because we’re being asked to face sig­nif­i­cant cuts this year,” Kraft said. “So for us to make a respon­si­ble deci­sion, we have to have a full pic­ture of all funds that are avail­able to a depart­ment or an agency.”

Foun­da­tion board mem­ber Ed Gal­lagher, who also serves as the city’s finance direc­tor argued that the myr­iad city agen­cies ought to report what funds they receive from the foun­da­tion to the city. “I think the source of that infor­ma­tion is the agency, not the foun­da­tion,” he said. He argued that the foun­da­tion is unable to pre­dict what sort of funds it will receive in a given year. The debate went back and forth for much of the hear­ing, and con­cluded with a sug­ges­tion by Gal­lagher that coun­cil mem­bers decide inter­nally who should be respon­si­ble for pro­vid­ing infor­ma­tion to the City Coun­cil on foun­da­tion funds.

Another ques­tion the Sun inves­ti­ga­tion raised was whether or not city employ­ees had been solic­it­ing funds for the foun­da­tion, a breach of ethics.

It’s always a little amusing to watch “pass the buck” in action.  Up to a point….

This foundation came up in the audit of the “Mentoring Children of Prisoners” grant from HHS. When the Mayors’ Office of Chidlren Youth and Families was found to have messed up, someone formed a nonprofit (or claimed they did), “Baltimore Rising, Inc.” in about 2007, money went through the foundation, apparently to various vendors, and after that was caught — the head of this program apparently just flit the coop and is now working under the umbrella of a religious? exempt organization, “Episcopal Community Services” while conferencing out of state with places known to be of this habit, i.e., the White House Office of Faith- Based (the whole routine). See my post.

Here’s another article showing they know about the CAFRs, and revealing what database the city’s financial transactions are, plus admitting they hadn’t been audited in several decades, some of the agencies.  Recreation and Parks is mentioned as one place embezzlement of 1/4 million$$ was found. (it still doesn’t tell much about this alleged nonprofit “audit baltimore.” but is still an interesting article:

in Baltimore City Paper under “Mobtown Beat”
Audit Agony
Logistical, staffing issues barriers to money-saving checks on city government
by Edward Ericson Jr.
PUBLISHED: SEPTEMBER 26, 2012

Baltimore City’s financial transactions are in a computer database that would allow for auditing today, if only it were someone’s job to extract the data.. . . .

A Philadelphia city auditor said his department saved hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars by auditing every city agency every other year, and a Baltimore researcher testified that most other big cities audit a lot more than Baltimore does. The meeting opened with Baltimore City Auditor Robert McCarty, who read a three-page text he said was supplied by the absent comptroller, Joan Pratt.

McCarty’s text was heavy on words like “unfunded mandates,” “federal assistance,” and bond rating. Summarized, he said his office audits the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, known by its acronym, CAFR, because the city’s bond rating and its ability to obtain and keep federal moneyover $200 million in this fiscal year—depend on that.

Funny CAFRs don’t get that much press, while government employees know how important they are!  Yet the city’s ability to save and raise money (“bond rating”) depending on knowing where it stands financially.  Cumulative reports.  Somehow, the University of Baltimore School of Law (I learned) had plenty of money for new construction…

Somehow people are not initiating that many conversations on these CAFRs and suggesting that individuals outside the city itself start looking at them some more.  Where is the conversation on this database and internal controls for entering the data?

His department handles other audit duties as resources permit, McCarty told members of the council’s Taxation, Finance and Economic Development committee, which is chaired by Carl Stokes (D-12th District). He said it would take 28 more auditors to do what the proposed charter amendment would require.

Noting that the city charter requires department audits at “appropriate intervals,” Stokes said, “currently we are out of compliance with the charter because we don’t do regular audits, correct?”

“Correct,” McCarty said.

Deputy Finance Director Henry Raymond disputed that. “The city is not out of compliance with its charter,” he told the committee, because every financial transaction is logged in the CityDynamics database. “If there is an expenditure of $30 for contractual services, there is a report saying who that vendor was,” Raymond said. “We’re not required to supply this on an agency level.”

The problem is formatting. If McCarty’s people do it, they can’t audit the results. And the auditor has no authority to order the heads of other departments to format the data either.

Raymond later told the committee that his department “will provide the data in the format the auditors need.”

The computer system is three years old. It was unclear why some departments had not been audited in 30 years or more.

Stokes asked McCarty what he plans to do if the director of Recreation and Parks does not hand over auditable financial statements by the end-of-September deadline. “When do you demand [compliance],” Stokes asked, “in order to do your charter-mandated duties?”

“I’ll meet with the acting director,” McCarty replied. “It does not seem like it can’t be done.”

“You’re giving people a license to steal,” Stokes said. “I’ve never seen a business where they don’t check the till at the end of the day.” He said assurances that the data were in the CityDynamics system were unbelievable unless someone was auditing the process by which those figures were entered. Recreation and Park takes cash payments, for example. They have not been audited in decades.


HHS GRANTS TO MARYLAND, LOCATION CITY OF BALTIMORE — THOUGHT YOU MIGHT WANT A LOOK; GRANTS ONLY, OF COURSE.  AT LEAST SHOWS WHERE THE HHS EMPHASIS IS.

City = BALTIMORE
Fiscal Year = 2011
State = MARYLAND
Summary = Recipient

Showing: 1 – 50 of 83 Recipients

Page: « Previous 1 2 Next »

Recipient Number of
Award Actions
Number of
Awards
Amount
ADOPTION EXCHANGE ASSOCIATION 2 1 $ 3,669,500
ADVOCATES FOR SURVIVORS OF TORTURE & TRAUMA 1 1 $ 395,000
AIDS Interfaith Residential Services, Inc. 1 1 $ 200,000
ASSOCIATED CATHOLIC CHARITIES 4 3 $ 2,275,118
ATHENA ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES 1 1 $ 100,000
BALTIMORE CITY HEALTH DEPARTMENT 23 12 $ 23,198,906
BALTIMORE CITY HEALTHY START INC 5 3 $ 2,551,835
BALTIMORE CITY PUBLIC SCHOOLS 2 1 $ 285,941
BALTIMORE MEDICAL SYSTEM, INC 4 1 $ 3,465,068
BON SECOURS HOSPITAL BALTIMORE INC 1 1 $ 0
Baltimore Crisis Response, Inc. 1 1 $ 60,000
CERECOR INC 1 1 $ 292,476
CHASE-BREXTON CLINIC 9 3 $ 3,045,716
CLINICAL TRIALS AND SURVEYS CORPORATION 2 1 $ 1,099,694
COPPIN STATE COLLEGE 2 2 $ 395,209
Catholic Relief Services 16 7 $ 84,113,099
Chesapeake Regional Information System for our Patients 1 1 $ 869,352
DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING & CMTY DEV/DIV OF H/S-HEADSTART 2 1 $ 30,163,329
ENCORE PATH INC 1 1 $ 0
FAMILY HEALTH CENTERS OF BALTIMORE, INC. 3 1 $ 1,233,129
FRIENDS OF THE FAMILY, INC 2 2 $ 4,195,922
FRIENDS RESEARCH INSTITUTE, INC 11 9 $ 3,304,051
Family League of Baltimore City, Inc. 1 1 $ 299,772
GOUCHER COLLEGE 2 2 $ 0
HEALTH CARE FOR THE HOMELESS, INC 5 1 $ 2,685,532
HUGO W MOSER RESEARCH INSTITUTE AT KENNEDY KRIEGER INC 61 44 $ 15,848,650
INNOSCION LLC 1 1 $ 133,446
INTERNATIONAL SOCIAL SERVICE AMERICAN BRANCH, INC 4 3 $ 1,457,622
JOHN HOPKINS UNIVERSITY, BLOOMBERG SCH OF PUBLIC HEALTH 1 1 $ 1,000,000
JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV, SCHOOL OF HYGIENE & PUBLIC HEALTH 6 6 $ 1,230,802
JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY 2,022 1,433 $ 676,429,059
JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF NURSING 1 1 $ 327,844
JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY, SCHOOL OF MEDICINE 18 10 $ 2,920,840
KENNEDY INSTITUTE, INC 15 4 $ 1,599,826
KEY TECHNOLOGIES, INC 1 1 $ 727,024
LENTIGEN CORPORATION 2 2 $ 4,311,350
LUTHERAN IMMIGRATION & REFUGEE SERVICE 20 12 $ 14,063,397
MARYLAND BIOTECHNOLOGY INSTITUTE 1 1 $ 0
MARYLAND INST FOR EMERGENCY MEDICAL SVCS 2 1 $ 143,000
MARYLAND STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH & MENTAL HYGIENE 234 95 $ 5,196,031,775
MD Attorney General Health Education and Advocacy Unit 2 1 $ 642,151
MD ST ADVOCACY UNIT FOR THE DEVELOPMENTAL DISABLE 12 4 $ 1,080,328
MD ST DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION 12 4 $ 80,746,132
MD ST DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN RESOURCES 102 27 $ 481,484,918
MD ST DEPARTMENT OF THE ENVIRONMENT 1 1 $ 594,000
MD ST DEPT OF HUMAN RESOURES COMMUNITY PROG ADMIN 6 1 $ 88,925,525
MD ST GOVERNORS COMM ON LAW ENFORCE/ADMIN OF JUSTICE 2 2 $ 1,987,626
MD ST GOVERNOR`S OFFICE FOR HANDICAPPED INDIVIDUALS 4 1 $ 1,006,143
MD ST MENTAL HYGIENE ADMINISTRATION 1 1 $ 1,284,000
MD ST OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR 1 1 $ 75,000
Page Total: 2,635 1,717 $ 6,741,949,107
Report Total: 3,462 2,275 $ 7,014,914,116

 Page 2 of 2 for 2011 only:

Recipient Number of
Award Actions
Number of
Awards
Amount
MD ST OFFICE ON AGING 22 9 $ 23,955,905
MEDICAL DECISION LOGIC, INC 2 2 $ 1,276,456
MORGAN STATE UNIVERSTIY 12 8 $ 1,980,990
Maryland Department of Disabilities 1 1 $ 750,000
Maryland Health Insurance Plan 1 1 $ 2,851,970
Maryland Insurance Administration 1 1 $ 3,961,072
NATIONAL FEDERATION OF THE BLIND, PUBLICATIONS DEPT 1 1 $ 91,796
NATIONAL HEALTHY START ASSOCIATION, INC 1 1 $ 410,000
National Assn for the Advancement of Colored People 1 1 $ 120,000
ON OUR OWN OF MARYLAND, INC. 1 1 $ 70,000
PARKWEST HEALTH SYSTEMS, INC. 5 1 $ 3,109,795
PAUL H BROOKS PUBLISHERS 1 1 $ 106,997
PEOPLE’S COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTER 6 2 $ 2,861,381
PROFECTUS BIOSCIENCES INC 5 4 $ 2,999,845
PUBLIC HEALTH DATA STANDARDS CONSORTIUM 5 1 $ 1,077,429
QUANTUM MEDICAL METRICS LLC 1 1 $ 237,900
RESEARCH CIRCLE ASSOCIATES 1 1 $ 114,674
ROSE STREET COMMUNITY CENTER 2 2 $ 198,319
SHEPPARD PRATT HEALTH SYSTEM INC 1 1 $ 209,242
SYNAPTIC RESEARCH LLC 1 1 $ 324,516
THE SUDDEN INFANT DEATH SYNDROME ALLIANCE 1 1 $ 140,000
TOTAL CHILD HEALTH 2 2 $ 868,904
TOTAL HEALTH CARE, INC 8 2 $ 2,703,513
Tuerk House, Inc. 2 1 $ 400,000
UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND BALTIMORE COUNTY CAMPUS 46 32 $ 9,937,339
UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND BALTIMORE PROFESSIONAL SCHOOLS 660 459 $ 196,555,453
UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND, SCH OF SOCIAL WORK & COMTY PLNG 2 1 $ 1,850,000
UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND, SCHOOL OF MEDICINE 8 4 $ 1,259,777
Univ. of MD Medical System Foundation, Inc 1 1 $ 49,127
University of Maryland Baltimore County 2 1 $ 288,242
WORLD RELIEF CORPORATION 13 7 $ 5,330,689
Women Accepting Responsibility, Inc 6 4 $ 1,670,808
YMCA OF CENTRAL MARYLAND, INC 5 2 $ 5,202,870
Page Total: 827 558 $ 272,965,009
Report Total: 3,462 2,275 $ 7,014,914,116

The “women accepting responsibility” is an interesting name, and here are its grants to date:

Recipient Name City State ZIP Code County DUNS Number Sum of Awards
Women Accepting Responsibility, Inc  BALTIMORE MD 21216 **BALTIMORE CITY 135245996 $ 7,538,414

Interesting the misspelling (blue-font in chart, above).  Grants to date to this recipient (no year selected):

It is mostly “LIHEAP”   LOW INCOME HIGH ENERGY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

Recipient Name City State ZIP Code County DUNS Number Sum of Awards
MD ST DEPT OF HUMAN RESOURES COMMUNITY PROG ADMIN  BALTIMORE MD 21201 **BALTIMORE CITY 148083504 $ 751,264,960

  

 

ANYHOW, it says on the Dept of Finance:

Accounting and Payroll

The Bureau manages both accounting and payroll operations. Activities include: accounts payable; payroll; disbursements; accounts receivable; capital, grant, and fixed asset accounting; billing and revenue control.

The Bureau prepares the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR), monthly financial reports, and payroll reporting for over 40,000 employees and retirees.

Each year over 150,000 checks totaling over $1 billion are issued and over 1 million payments to employees and retirees totaling almost $900 million are processed. See our section onFrequently Asked Payroll Questions for additional information

In short, in addition to demanding all kinds of audits for others to do, citizens, residents, taxpayers, could look at the CAFRs which DO exist (I finally got the list which goes up to CAFR) examine the funds in them, do a little legwork collectively, and then talk about it in the press.

Having some experience in California with certain groups all into having “audits” of the family court procedures (but deliberately failing to get the basic elements of what’s going on in them, into the press) I admit I’m a little skeptical.   To simply close this out, here appear to be the past year’s CAFRs, anyhow:

Baltimore City Annual Financial Reports

Fiscal Year 2009(PDF File)
Fiscal Year 2008(PDF File)
Fiscal Year 2007(PDF File)
Fiscal Year 2006(PDF File)
Fiscal Year 2005(PDF File)
Fiscal Year 2004(PDF File)
Fiscal Year 2003(PDF File)
Fiscal Year 2002(PDF File)
Fiscal Year 2001(PDF File)
Fiscal Year 2000(PDF File)

 OFFICIALS for this City as of the 2009 Report.  At least concerned citizens could be scrutinizing it! and talking with each other about areas of concern, discussing the various funds — in short, do some legwork.

There are 14 Districts & City Council Members to go with each:

ELECTED OFFICIALS

MAYOR Sheila Dixon

PRESIDENT OF THE CITY COUNCIL Stephanie Rawlings-Blake

COMPTROLLER Joan M. Pratt

BOARD OF ESTIMATES

PRESIDENT Stephanie Rawlings-Blake

MAYOR Sheila Dixon

COMPTROLLER Joan M. Pratt

DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC WORKS David Scott

CITY SOLICITOR George Nilson

CITY COUNCIL

Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, President Edward Reisinger, Vice-President

As usual in CAFRs

The CAFR is presented in three sections: introductory, financial, and statistical.

The introductory section includes this transmittal letter, the City’s organization chart and the certificate of achievement for excellence in financial reporting.

The financial section includes the auditor’s opinion, Management’s Discussion and Analysis (MD&A), basic financial statements with related notes, and required supplementary information with related notes. The financial section also includes the combining and individual fund financial statements and schedules. {{THAT’S WHAT WE SHOULD BE VERY / MOST INTERESTED IN}} The statistical section includes selected financial and demographic information, generally presented on a multiyear basis.

Management has provided a narrative introduction, overview, and analysis to accompany the basic financial statements in the form of a Management’s Discussion and Analysis. This letter of transmittal is designed to complement the MD&A and should be read in conjunction with it. The City’s MD&A can be found immediately following the report of the independent auditors in the Financial Section of the CAFR.

And more specific to this “BODY CORPORATE {{corporation, basically}} AND BODY POLITIC”

The City Charter established a Department of Audits under the general supervision of the City Comptroller. The Charter requires the City Auditor to “annually make a general comprehensive public report of the financial position of the City; in the discretion of the Comptroller, such report may be in the form of an opinion on the annual financial statements prepared by the Director of Finance.”

The Comptroller has elected to have the City Auditor render an opinion as to the fairness of the Director of Finance’s presentation of the City’s basic financial statements. Additionally, the Board of Estimates awarded a contract to the nationally recognized independent certified public accounting firm, Ernst & Young LLP, to perform a joint audit with the City Auditor of the basic financial statements of the City for the year ended June 30, 2009

IT simply tells helpful information, for example, how this City is actually separate from its neighboring Baltimore County (on three sides) and Anne Arundel County (on the other), that it’s a deep-water port and obviously close to Washington, D.C. (another reason I’m interested in this city):

The independent audit of the City’s financial statements is part of a broader, federally mandated “Single Audit” designed to meet the special needs of federal grantor agencies. This audit was conducted by the City Auditor, and the Single Audit Report is available as a separate document.

Good to know …

And then (after describing who the City of Baltimore Is, briefly), it lists what it considers to be its government, blended & component units.  These at LEAST show where to look and should be (much more) common knowledge among residents and taxpayers, so when they talk, they have some idea what they are talking about.  You’d think it’d be taught in schools, however School Districts are themselves actually part of the deal as units of government!

PROFILE OF THE GOVERNMENT

The Mayor and City Council of Baltimore (City) is a body corporate and politic of the State of Maryland (State) in which all local governmental functions are performed by the City. The City has had a charter form of government since 1797; home rule powers since 1918, and is governed by an elected Mayor, Comptroller and a City Council. The City has a total area of approximately 92 square miles and an estimated 2008 population of 636,919. The City is a major deep-water seaport located on the Patapsco River, a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay. It is served by Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport in adjacent Anne Arundel County. The City is almost completely surrounded by Baltimore County, a separate entity, which borders the City on the east, north, west and part of the south. Anne Arundel County adjoins the City on its southern border.

The City provides the full range of municipal services contemplated by statute or charter, which are provided or paid for by the City from local, State or Federal sources. These services include public safety (police and fire protection), water and waste water utilities, highways and streets, sanitation, health and human services, culture and recreation, education (elementary through high school, provided by a component unit, the Baltimore City Public School System), public improvements, planning and zoning, parking facilities, mortgage loan programs, industrial development, and general and administrative services. The City is also responsible for adoption and maintenance of building codes, and regulation of licenses and permits, collection of certain taxes and revenues, maintenance of public records and the conduct of elections. These activities are included in the reporting entity. There are no overlapping local governmental entities or taxing jurisdictions. Accordingly, there is no overlapping debt of the City.

Under the City Charter, the City’s executive functions are vested in the Mayor, the Board of Estimates and an independent Comptroller. The City’s legislative functions are vested in the City Council.

… The Mayor has authority to veto ordinances, has power of appointment of most department heads and municipal officers, serves on the Board of Estimates and appoints two of the other four members of the Board of Estimates.

The Board of Estimates is the highest administrative body of the City. It is composed of the President of the City Council, who serves as President of the Board, the Mayor, the Comptroller, the City Solicitor and the Director of Public Works. The Board of Estimates formulates and determines City fiscal policy with its primary policy tool being the recommended annual Ordinance of Estimates, the City’s budget.

Interesting.  Also interesting (personally) — this is just a city, but it’s got one of the most complex organizational charts around, compared to some of the state CAFRs I’ve seen.  Also check out (single-page diagram may be helpful (search title when within document):

“Layout and Structure of the City of Baltimore Comprehensive Annual Financial Report”

Anyhow, the hour is late here, it’s “been real” and don’t forget to look at the post on “Baltimore Rising, Inc.”  ( IS Baltimore Rising (Inc)? City CPA audits HHS “Mentoring Children of Incarcerated Parents” Grant, again.), look at the two audits above, and comprehend firmly, how very screwed this country is unless people start caring more about what their government is doing.

And getting informed on the same, hopefully conversing with others so the information (and situation) doesn’t become so overwhelming.  I stand at the latter part of my life and as a  witness, the welfare system is creating more, not less, poverty. Suppose fully 10% of the people in an area could become engaged in looking up these reports (including some students, some working people, and SOME people on welfare), they’d probably undergo a swift attitude change.

Today I posted more information on the Social Security System, and “Corporations” at the other blog, basic stuff.  It all gets down to raising capital by creating debt (usually) and then selling that debt to others.  We are all hostage to this unless we free ourselves, or change the system.  One World Government (and religion to go with it) is one LOUSY idea.  The tools by which it operates need to be understood to be WITHstood!

Feedback solicited.  Thanks. Also, the links are to the bottom right of this blog, for CAFRs posted to date (really, to start conversations among people interested — and among people in the various states).  I may be “monetizing” this blog or raising some funding to get its contents in better shape — they are important stuff.  And I don’t write too well on empty stomach and dubious housing future, minus a family. I really do want major social reform -and for this to actually happen, I believe women’s voices have to be right in there.  It’s more “fun” to specialize and be a professional in a field with a future (I know, I enjoyed it), or to be in supportive family relationships, but to tell the truth, those are also somewhat enclaves — and maybe not the best place from which to see what reform is needed, and how to get to it.

Once we understand that ALMOST every major event, institution, and structure exists for the creation of economic profit to the owners thereof, we are going to start, I hope, wish to quit participating in the beehive as drones, or in the current economic system as contributors to the problem.  IFFFF it’s going to be cleaned up, it must be addressed by many.  Right now, I don’t know of a better tool already in place than to look at these CAFRs and start compiling a list of just what government IS among us.

One can only retain so much information in mind at a time, or for a few months or a year at a time.  Currently I am engrossed in this material, and information from Catherine Austin Fitts, Walter Burien, and some guy Clint Richardson (realitybloger) who are ALL of them good at laying things out for the “layperson” in various terms.  Moreover, I haven’t met any of them, perhaps they counter each other, and perhaps I can have a certain viewpoint or voice to add to the layers.

I know about the coverup of things in a personal level, and have been around long enough to see some significent changes in the areas I have to interact with.  MOST of these seem to come because of the marvel (the exponentially multiplying marvel) of the internet itself, and the fact that from the system schange enabled through the amazing fund-raising capacity set up in this country with the income tax, the dual tax status (for profit, not for profit) the severe control that private trusts and foundations really do exert, and the fact that when there are dollars ON the table and dollars UNDER the table (i.e., so long as the criminal element in government or influencing it is not restrained) — then those ON the table are being gradually anesthetized in their activities.

Including anesthetized to the fact that they are what’s for dinner.   It’s possible that some communications in music, art, or some demonstrations of other ways to handle life (than in the present economic system) will be a catching model — but they will not counter force, or what one might just call “evil” (lie, steal, cheat, dissemble, derail conversations, covet others goods (and set up systems to get them), and another one — kill) — without an equal or greater force.

Here’s Burien on 9/11/2012 reminding us of the consequences of being “immunized” to the fact the the WTC was actually an insurance setup, and that 3,000 people died for the cause. I’ve seen enough to believe this (not from the PBS clip only, obviously).   He also referred to it in the recent “Dog and Pony Show for People with Short-Term Memories” which I reposted with some commentary on Election Day.

 

911-2012 – The Smoking Gun of Consequence
by  Walter Burien – CAFR1.com
09/10/12

What you do with this communication will determine who and what you are.

The crime of the century needs true accountability and consequence.

Please forward this communication to every Sheriff; Police official; FBI agent; US Attorney that you can track down an email address for.

It has now been 11-years since the event of 911 in NY City

The following video released and Aired on PBS recently “is” the conclusive smoking gun per the World Trade Center complex destruction being a planned event which utilized passenger planes as the staged and false cause for the destruction of the WTC complex. A few minutes into this PBS broadcast the 911 expose will start. If you have a video capture software I recommend you record the program to share with others.

http://video.cpt12.org/video/2270078138

Being masterfully entertained or pulling the covers over our heads to play the ignorance is bliss route-en is not acceptable under any terms as far as this situation is concerned.

The intent of the crime has facilitated:

1. The death of over 3000 Americans. 

2. The death of over 3,000,000 from the middle east. 

3. The fraudulent transfer of wealth in excess of 8-trillion dollars

4. The deaths of over 7,000 US Military personnel. 

5. The plunder of the wealth of several countries in the middle east. 

6. The significant loss of liberties and freedom for the general population of the US. 

The last most prominent similar event was orchestrated by Adolf Hitler with the Reichstag fire.

As the people of the United States, if we do not force accountability and consequences to the orchestrators of this event we have lost our souls and are doomed to an evil that makes hell a desired vacation spot.

Please make sure that every law enforcement official that you are aware of or that you can locate watches this video.

Sent FYI and for you to redeem your intellect conscience after having been played for an easy mark over the last 11-years

We’ve got to overcome the gut visceral response (see link) and have our “cognitive brains” process some facts — let go of fantasies.

There are also some beautiful images of the new structure of WTC one in NYC.  Even so — look who died for the avoidance of the cost of replacing asbestos???
So — how many lives is that beauty and marvel worth?
Start reading something sensible in light of this (and the material in bright green above), somewhere.  How about?
Burien (Cafr1.com, add “Cafrman.com” if you’re serious about going through the statements, it’s an outline in how to extract the information).  He says that identifying the existing assets, taxation could be eliminated, if entities switched over (TRFs).  I’m not sure if this correctly handles the question of evil (& greed, i.e., the human nature questions).
Fitts, and (for basic layouts also, explains more terms some of us may not have understood yet.  I have the links up here, use our internet to look things up)
Richardson (reality bloger, selected “essays” posts help the cumulative grasp).
Over the years hunting and gathering relevant information (a lifelong habit) and listening when something unique or odd (i.e., an “anomaly” to the overall landscape) grabs my attention — I’ve noted often that the people with the most sound, or valid, information are often not people “like me” or who I would naturally associate or run with.  There may be other aspects of their characters or habits I wouldn’t normally hang out with (and vice versa).
But then, hanging out with who i DID hang out with previously has gotten me where?  Absent some children, ignorant of a relevant to TODAY version of our country’s history, not focusing sufficiently on acquiring the business skill of understanding how capital is raised (I did understand cash flow, but not the larger political picture).  So much of our lives is influenced by where we hang out.  However, mentally and intellectually — if not always physically — this can, indeed change.
And then keeping one’s ear close to the ground, paying attention to change.
If it makes sense to you, comment and reblog.  I’m working on getting the “feedjit” and other indicators up, have not been heavily promoting this blog yet.  Not til the CAFRs are up…
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