A look into the City of Miami's finances this year shows the city failed to meet its own financial rules and benchmarks.
According to The Miami Herald, "Miami failed to comply with eight of its 13 financial standards in the 2010-11 budget year, according to an internal audit published late last month."
Among the shortcomings:
- The city did not keep $93 million in its reserves as it was supposed to.
- Its financial plans for the next few years did not properly consider the cost of city operations, the cost of repaying debts or setting aside money for reserves.
- The city's finance department did not put together reports at the end of every month as it was supposed to and it did not complete annual reports in a timely manner.
The city also faced problems putting together a budget this year. At first, it forced city union members to accept big cuts to their benefits because officials expected a budget shortfall. They later learned that they actually had a surplus.
For years, the city has been accused of being sloppy with its finances. However, a set of rules put in place in the 1990's was supposed to steer the finance department into better practices. However, the internal audit shows that many of these new rules have simply been ignored.