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Audit finds accounting issues at Enoch Pratt

Baltimore auditors presented a report on the Enoch Pratt Free Library Wednesday that, among other things, showed the institution owed the city close to $30,000 in fines and fees collected during fiscal 2011 and lacked sufficient accountability over a $300,000 cash fund set up to purchase books.

Investment losses also took their toll on the Enoch Pratt Free Library last fiscal year, according to the audit presented Wednesday to the Board of Estimates.

The annual report was presented at City Hall during the weekly meeting of the Baltimore Board of Estimates. City Auditor Robert L. McCarty Jr. presented the audit from 2012, which also had four holdover accounting issues from the fiscal 2011 audit.

Among those issues was an inadequate number of auditing personnel in the library’s business office for preparation of the annual report and the failure of the library to remit $29,213 in fines and fees collected from patrons to the city. The report from fiscal 2011 also found that the library’s general fund had a surplus of $523,200.

The audit also found that about $11,000 from the $300,000 purchasing fund, known as the Book Imprest Fund, was not spent on book purchases that year, McCarty said.

Roswell Encina, a spokesman for the Pratt Library, said the errors were mainly due to “staffing issues” within the library.

“They are in the process of fixing it now,” Encina said after the Board of Estimates meeting. “The bottom line is that nothing was lost.”

McCarty’s fiscal 2012 audit (reflecting the fiscal year that ended July 1, 2012) is the Pratt’s most recent and includes its comprehensive annual financial report.

The library’s assets totaled $99 million — down $2.7 million from fiscal 2011, due mainly to investment losses. Operating grants and contributions in 2012 totaled more than $20 million.

The library received $15.1 million from the city for its general fund.

The examination also found that the library had about 2 million visitors in fiscal 2012 and 58,513 new and renewed registrations.

Material circulation figures at the Central Branch and 21 satellite branches were recorded at 1,253,984.