Arkansas Lottery director under fireMonday November 15th 2010
Ernie Passailaigue, the Arkansas Lottery director, has come under fire by the Legislative Audit Committee after they revealed they were unhappy with the way that he has dealt with some of the problems that have arisen since the Arkansas Lottery began last year. A variety of shortfalls have been highlighted by the Legislative Audit Committee, which resulted in one of the members telling the Arkansas Lottery director that if he had led any other state agency he would be gone under these kinds of circumstances.
The Arkansas Lottery director has taken full responsibility for the errors and claims that more time should have been spent on the administrative controls during the start up of the Arkansas Lottery. However, hindsight is a wonderful word and the conclusions of the Legislative Audit Committee have led to the Arkansas lottery direct being told that the problems must now come to an end.
The most significant finding of the audit was that the Arkansas Lottery did not prepare financial statements for the its first fiscal year in accordance with accepted accounting principles, which is required by state law. The fact that staff had little knowledge of the accepted accounting principles is a very serious concern. The Arkansas Lottery has been set up and staffed by people who don’t understand how to do the state agency business and if this were any other state agency, then the director would be gone. Another concern of the audit was that the Arkansas Lottery entered into three licensing agreements without ever having them reviewed by and oversight committee.
There were more than 30,000 scholarships awarded by the Arkansas Lottery for the fall of 2010 which indicates that despite the errors, lotto ticket sales are producing the revenue that would be expected from any state lottery game.