NEW ORLEANS — The City of New Orleans’ Inspector General found that the former management at the Sewerage and Water Board interfered with internal auditors, rendering them completely ineffective.

Inspector General Derry Harper said the S&WB auditors weren’t able to provide effective oversight of the agency’s operations between 2016 and 2018. The IG’s report says auditors didn’t do anything without prior approval from the S&WB management. They produced 14 audits during those 2-and-a-half years, but the IG found none of the findings were supported by the evidence.

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In the middle of that period, our Down the Drain investigation discovered major drainage pump and power failures at the Sewerage and Water Board and overwhelming billing errors.

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The S&WB has installed new leadership since the time period reviewed by the IG, and Harper said the current management has already begun corrective action to make sure the S&WB has a more independent and effective internal audit department.

Read the full report here.