New Mexico Public Employees Retirement Association, Santa Fe, will establish an oversight committee to monitor trustees for compliance with board policies and procedures following a governance audit.
John Melia, chairman of the board of the $14.3 billion pension fund, will determine the details of the oversight committee at a later date, spokeswoman Christina Perea said in an email.
The internal governance audit by REDW presented to PERA's board Thursday said audio recordings of prior board meetings showed "several instances of board members having disagreements that resulted in accusations and negative commentary regarding other board members, staff and consultant qualifications and competence which violates board policy."
The audit also showed two instances of board meetings that lost quorums when members walked out to avoid binding board decisions. In one of those instances, the board was unable to approve its fiscal year 2020 budget by the statutory deadline, which the office of the state auditor said was "unacceptable and harms the fund's membership."
The audit also cited several potential risk areas that give the perception that board members and PERA staff "have not shared strategic goals and objectives" and added that disagreements and negative comments about others in public meetings will make recruitment efforts for PERA staff more difficult.
The audit called for the establishment of the oversight committee and policy review to be completed by the end of fiscal year 2021.
Ms. Perea said the pension fund has no further comment.