The Truth About Transparency in NM’s CAFRs

Last week KRWG’s Anthony Moreno interviewed Truth In Accounting’s Sheila Weinberg, who explained why the Land of Enchantment performs abysmally when it comes to “how transparent [states] are to the public about their finances.”

TIA’s recent “Financial Transparency Score Report” placed New Mexico just one slot above last-place Connecticut on “a range of transparency indicators.” Weinberg told Moreno that the state has been “historically issuing its financial statement late,” with a jaw-dropping 426-day tardiness for its fiscal 2012 comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR), and a not-much-improved 342-day delay for fiscal 2016. (The standard for governmental entities is 180 days, TIA’s founder and CEO noted, with private corporations abiding by a 45-day standard.)

As Governing noted a few years ago, CAFRs are “dense,” with “a mind-numbing array of charts, graphs and number columns” — and only “the hardiest of souls” explore them. It’s in the job description for policy wonks, though, and the Rio Grande Foundation annually does a deep dive into the latest tome. But as Weinberg argued, taxpayers willing to tackle CAFRs deserve to get them in a timely and accessible manner. For a long time now, that hasn’t been a option in New Mexico. Something that Governor-elect Michelle Lujan Grisham’s nominee to head the Department of Finance and Administration should address, quickly.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.