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Auditors find problems with Coast county's inventory records


State Auditor Stacey Pickering

PASCAGOULA — State auditors have found Jackson County’s inventory procedures insufficient.

In a report released this week, Auditor Stacey Pickering’s office said the county did not have policies and procedures in place to maintain accurate inventory records.

The audit is for the year ending Sept. 30, 2013.

The audit found the county’s inventory procedures do not properly document the existence, completeness and valuation of capital assets, including the county’s infrastructure, the audit found.

This caused the county to receive a qualified audit opinion.

The audit found the county’s capital-asset control procedures last year were inadequate for keeping up with all the county’s land and assets.

Some other findings in the audit include:

— Public Employees Retirement System paperwork was not submitted in a timely manner in some cases.

— Some sheriff’s department undercover officers were reimbursed for more than $400 in clothing. State law caps reimbursement at $400.

— Multiple errors were noted within the sheriff’s office and justice court collections office related to miscalculations on prisoners’ work credits and balances.

— There should be better separation of duties in the tax collector’s office. Some checks only had one signature, when two are required by policy. Also, the tax collector keeps his signature stamp in his office filing cabinet, but his keys were in his desk, making it possible to obtain the stamp.

County Comptroller Josh Eldridge said the county has $275 million in assets, which includes buildings, land the size of small right of way easements, furniture, equipment and roads. There are more than 15,000 items, he said.

The county’s inventory clerk has been going back through the years making corrections — a 1980s building that was torn down but remained on the list, a patrol car that was wrecked but overlooked years ago.

Eldridge said the county has completed a 100 percent inventory of the Sheriff’s Department, is working on a 100 percent audit of the Fire Department and will tackle the Roads Department next, he said.




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