Comprehensive Audit of Audubon Finds Zero Fraud or Abuse
Five years ago, Audubon welcomed a comprehensive audit by the Office of the Inspector General and fully cooperated with all requests for information and documents, understanding the importance of complete transparency and accountability to the public.
The audit released today pertains to Audubon disbursements made by check or wire from 2012-2014. Audubon is pleased that the OIG did not find a single instance of fraud, abuse, or impropriety in Audubon’s operations. The OIG, whose mission includes increasing accountability and deterring fraud within public entities, highlighted in the report that Audubon has adequate controls in place that were designed properly and are implemented effectively.
“Although we disagree with certain findings and note that certain findings have been resolved, Audubon is always looking to improve its operations” says Audubon Executive Vice President of Public Affairs and General Counsel Rebecca Dietz.
Audubon has reviewed the OIG’s recent findings and observations and is taking them into consideration.
“Unfortunately this audit comes at a time when Audubon is facing devastating financial and operational challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Kelly Duncan, Audubon Commission President.
Audubon is projecting revenue losses of over $20 million for 2020 and an operating deficit of over $10 million and has laid off over 70% of its staff due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Duncan added “Audubon staff has been focusing on essential operations during this crisis, including the care and feeding of 15,000 animals whose significant needs continue during the pandemic. Nevertheless, Audubon continues to cooperate with the OIG and is always open to feedback for improvement.”
“As we have expressed at meetings with the Office of the Inspector General for the last five years, Audubon is always open to ways in which it can improve how it operates and will consider the OIG’s observations accordingly,” said Dietz.
Audubon Nature Institute operates a family of museums, parks and research facilities dedicated to celebrating the wonders of nature. Through innovative live animal exhibits, education programs, and scientific discovery, Audubon makes a meaningful contribution to preserving wildlife for the future. Audubon Nature Institute flagships include Audubon Park, Audubon Zoo, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, Entergy Giant Screen Theater, Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium, Audubon Louisiana Nature Center, Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center, Woldenberg Riverfront Park and Audubon Wilderness Park. Ron Forman is President and CEO of Audubon Nature Institute.