Hattiesburg audit raises concerns among council, additional audi - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Hattiesburg audit raises concerns among council, additional audit sought

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -

The Hattiesburg City Council received its annual audit this week, but there have been more questions this time around than usual.

Concerns of some members are the three qualified opinions submitted with this year's audit. There have never been opinions attached to an audit in the 37 years of Nicholson and Company's work with Hattiesburg.

Three units of the Hattiesburg government merited a qualified opinion in this year's annual audit: activities of both the government and business, as well as the water and sewer system.

One issue is that the city did not have an actuarial report to provide for the audit. That's something that is required, and according to CPA Paige Johnson is "an acceptable practice... every three to five years."

It's related to some procedures regarding post employment benefits for city employees, but without an actuary to conduct the report, the auditors cannot comply with government standards to report what it finds.

The water and sewer departments were considered to have a "material weakness", which means that policies in place for utility cutoff are not being uniformly enforced, and inconsistencies are also found in late payments, all of which could affect budgetary projections and ensure compliance with contracts, according to the audit.

"The audit is what it is," Mayor Johnny DuPree told the council Tuesday night. "It's done. It's completed. Your objective is to acknowledge it so we can move forward. If you want to do more than that, that's up to you."

And the council chose to do just that. A 3-2 vote will soon send a letter to the state auditor's to conduct an additional audit.

"Whether we get the answers we want or don't get the answers we want, I think the audit needs to be looked at," council President Kim Bradley said.

What was not specifically mentioned in the public audit is a letter to the council that was obtained by WDAM's investigative team. It offers nine recommendations, most of which deal with water and sewer issues.

An internal auditor was recommended for the city, as well as close attention to the city being in compliance with existing water and sewer revenue bond requirements and any new contractual agreements. The last recommendation in the letter is a system for tracking "unusual fuel consumption" on city fuel cards.

All of those things stand only as recommendations, but it's certainly something that has alarmed the city council. When or if the state auditor takes a second look at this report is yet to be determined.

Copyright 2014 WDAM. All rights reserved.

  • Local NewsLOCALMore>>

  • Sandlin, USM shut down State, 11-0

    Sandlin, USM shut down State, 11-0

  • Sandlin, USM shut down State, 11-0

    Sandlin, USM shut down State, 11-0

    Friday, February 16 2018 10:28 PM EST2018-02-17 03:28:00 GMT

    Nick Sandlin threw seven shutout innings and four Golden Eagles drove in at least two runs as the University of Southern Mississippi shut down Mississippi State University 11-0 Friday.

    More >>

    Nick Sandlin threw seven shutout innings and four Golden Eagles drove in at least two runs as the University of Southern Mississippi shut down Mississippi State University 11-0 Friday.

    More >>
  • USM vs MSU series brings tourism into the city

    USM vs MSU series brings tourism into the city

    Friday, February 16 2018 10:24 PM EST2018-02-17 03:24:38 GMT
    People from all over the state came to Hattiesburg to cheer on their favorite team in the baseball season opener between the University of Southern Mississippi at Pete Taylor Park. (Photo source: WDAM)People from all over the state came to Hattiesburg to cheer on their favorite team in the baseball season opener between the University of Southern Mississippi at Pete Taylor Park. (Photo source: WDAM)

    People from all over the state came to Hattiesburg to cheer on their favorite team during the University of Southern Mississippi versus Mississippi State baseball game.  Executive Director of Visit Hattiesburg Marlo Dorsey says that the city has the red carpet rolled out to anyone coming to the city to have a good time the weekend of the game.  "This is what tourism is all about," says Dorsey. 

    More >>

    People from all over the state came to Hattiesburg to cheer on their favorite team during the University of Southern Mississippi versus Mississippi State baseball game.  Executive Director of Visit Hattiesburg Marlo Dorsey says that the city has the red carpet rolled out to anyone coming to the city to have a good time the weekend of the game.  "This is what tourism is all about," says Dorsey. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly