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KPMG Finally Signs Off on 2003 Audit

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Aired 4/19/09

The city of San Diego has the best news it has heard in years: the independent auditor, KPMG, has finally signed off on the city’s long-awaited 2003 audit. KPBS radio’s Alison St John has more.

City officials gathered to celebrate the news from KPMG. It is key to getting the city back into the bond market. Wall Street barred San Diego from selling bonds after it was discovered the city had failed to disclose its massive billion-dollar pension deficit in 2002.

The city has paid KPMG more than $6 million for the audit. City staff had to present 17 drafts of the financial statement to get final approval. Mayor Jerry Sanders says this audit was being watched nationwide.

Sanders : This was probably the most scrutinized audit in municipal history, we had the SEC, Kroll etc. looking at it, and I think KPMG were afraid to make a mistake -- and they scrutinized things that have never been scrutinized before.

It will take a few more months until the credit agencies give the city back a credit rating. But once the 2004, and 2005 audits are approved, the city will be able to borrow money again at lower interest rates, hopefully before the end of the year. Alison St John, KPBS News.

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