Denver City and County Building

The Denver City and County Building.

In the past week, Denver Auditor Timothy O’Brien released two reports: one of which found that the city’s pension funding plan is accurately calculated, and the other report slamming the operator of the Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave Gift Shop for failing to implement recommendations.

O’Brien’s office contracted with Bolton Partners Inc. to review Denver’s steps to fully fund the Denver Employees Retirement Plan in 20 years. Currently, the pension plan is 61.4% funded.

Bolton found that the city’s calculations were reasonable, and recommended more transparency in the computation of retiree benefits and employee contributions.

“There are thousands of people who worked hard to serve Denver and who are counting on the defined benefits from the pension plan in retirement — now or in the future,” said O’Brien in a statement. “It’s a good idea for someone to check the city’s math from time to time to make sure we are on the right track.”

In a separate report, the auditor found that Pahaska Tepee Concessions, which operates the gift shop at the Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave, still had a rash of accounting problems, one year after an initial audit discovered inaccurately-reported revenue. The City and County of Denver owns the Buffalo Bill site.

“Pahaska’s cash registers were low-end, and all the company’s sales transactions records were printed on paper rolls from the registers. These records were unreliable, inaccurate, and, in some cases, missing,” auditors found initially, noting that similar problems were present in an evaluation more than a decade earlier.

The latest review found that Pahaska installed new registers much later than they promised they would, that employees do now know how to properly run financial reports, and the company is not in compliance with some of the terms of its contract with the city.

The report concluded that “the risk remains” that payments due the city will be inaccurate until the appropriate fixes are made.

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