Audit finds $1 million in assets unaccounted for by Liquor Control Board

By   /   May 13, 2013  /   No Comments

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

HARRISBURG – An audit of the state liquor control board reveals that the state agency responsible for selling and regulating the consumption of wine and liquor overstated its assets by more than $1 million during the past fiscal year.

HOW MANY BOTTLES? Audit says Liquor Control Board doesn't keep good count of physical assets.

HOW MANY BOTTLES? Audit says Liquor Control Board doesn’t keep good count of physical assets.

The audit, quietly released in March and uncovered by Keri Andren of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review for a story published over the weekend, was conducted by the state auditor general and looked at the fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2012. It shows that the PLCB does not regularly take a physical inventory, leading to the inaccurate information on financial statements.

Andren explains:

The audit found that in a random sample of 10 items from the LCB’s list of assets, six items valued at $1.047 million were no longer being used or were described vaguely and could not be identified by LCB officials or a store manager.

The list of assets includes items such as store shelving and signs, cash registers and warehouse machinery. It does not include wine and spirits inventory.

Stacy Kriedeman, spokeswoman for the LCB, denies its assets were overstated. She said the audit’s sample looked at fully depreciated items, or older items that were beyond their useful life.

With the state legislature knee-deep in a debate over the future of the state-owned and operated liquor stores, the actual value of the physical assets owned by the PLCB is a significant point.

Pro-privatization Republicans like Gov. Tom Corbett and House Majority Leader Mike Turzai want to raise between $800 million and $1.2 billion from selling off the liquor stores, with most of the revenue coming from the auction of private liquor licenses.

But it’s understandable how the PLCB would have difficulty finding time to conduct inventory of their internal assets, what with all the time they spend developing ideas like million-dollar wine tasting rooms for government employees, ill-fated grocery store wine kiosks and advertisements that warn about the dangers of drinking alcohol (while simultaneously spending millions on ads convincing you to buy more booze.)

Boehm can be reached at Eric@PAIndependent.com.

Click here to LEARN HOW TO STEAL OUR STUFF!

Eric is a reporter for Watchdog.org and former bureau chief for Pennsylvania Independent. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he enjoys great weather and low taxes while writing about state governments, pensions, labor issues and economic/civil liberty. Previously, he worked for more than three years in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, covering Pennsylvania state politics and occasionally sneaking across the border to Delaware to buy six-packs of beer. He has also lived (in order of desirability) in Brussels, Belgium, Pennsburg, Pa., Fairfield, Conn., and Rochester, N.Y. His work has appeared in Reason Magazine, National Review Online, The Freeman Magazine, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Washington Examiner and elsewhere. He received a bachelor's degree from Fairfield University in 2009, but he refuses to hang on his wall until his student loans are fully paid off sometime in the mid-2020s. When he steps away from the computer, he enjoys drinking craft beers in classy bars, cheering for an eclectic mix of favorite sports teams (mostly based in Philadelphia) and traveling to new places.

x

Join other concerned citizens who get the latest updates from Watchdog.org on government waste, fraud, or abuse.


Read stories like:

Enter your email and stay on top of the news that matters.