State and local governments continue to complete their annual financial disclosures at a slow pace of nearly six months after the close of the fiscal year — a longstanding industry complaint that is getting increased attention in the wake of high-profile distress in Detroit and Harrisburg, a study shows.

Merritt Research Services concluded that issuers of general obligations bonds were most often the tardiest in completing their audits in 2012, while revenue bond issuers were the speediest. The study was the third annual evaluation of municipal finance disclosure undertaken by Merritt, and was based on a survey of about 8,000 fiscal year 2012 audited financial statements. The study measured the length of time between the close of the fiscal year and the time the audit was completed, but noted it could take days or weeks to release the audit depending on issuer procedures.

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