The Office of Inspector General (OIG) conducted a performance audit of the Audubon Nature Institute’s (Institute) internal controls over the employeenew hire, termination, payroll, and executive compensation processes. The objectives of the audit were to determine if: 1. The Institute’s policies governing the payroll process, including new hiresand terminations, provided adequate controls to ensure all payroll expenses were business-related and allowed by law; 2. The Institute’s policies governing the payroll process, including new hiresand terminations, complied with best practices; and 3. The Institute complied with its policies, as well as applicable laws and/orbest practices, as it pertained to the expenditure of the Audubon Commission (Commission) funds.
The Commission was an unattached board within the Executive Branch of the Cityof New Orleans (City), and was governed by the City of New Orleans Home Rule Charter (Charter). 1 The Commission was a public entity comprised of 24 boardmembers who were each appointed to a six-year term by the City Mayor with theadvice and consent of the New Orleans City Council (Council).The Commission was charged with administering, operating, and maintaining Audubon Park and Riverview, Audubon Zoo, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas,Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium, Woldenberg Riverfront Park, Entergy Giant Screen Theater, Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center,Audubon Center for Research of Endangered Species, Audubon Louisiana NatureCenter, and Audubon Wilderness Park (collectively referred to as the AudubonFacilities).2 The Audubon Facilities were and remain public assets held in the nameof the Commission.3 As a public entity, Commission funds were public funds anduse of those funds was subject to the La. Const. art. VII, §14(A) which prohibitedt he donation of public funds. On October 24, 2013, the Commission entered into a Management andCooperative Endeavor Agreement (Contract) with the Institute, a private non-1 City of New Orleans Home Rule Charter (Charter), §§4-102 and 5-802.2 Charter, §5-802.3 Charter, §9-301(1) (“All public property held by the City of New Orleans or by any… board of theCity of New Orleans at the effective date of this charter … shall be the property of the City.”)