Tennessee Comptrollers said in an audit late last week that the Decatur County government’s problems are severe enough that, as of now, they will not approve the county’s new budget.
The county taxpayers will also have to pay a nearly $10,000 fine to the Internal Revenue Service, Comptrollers said.
And there were other reported issues, Comptrollers said.
“The financial position of the Decatur County General Hospital is not clear because the hospital has not been audited by an outside firm since fiscal year 2016. This is the primary reason the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office has issued an adverse opinion on the county’s component units in Decatur County’s fiscal year 2019 audit report,” Comptrollers said in a press release.
State officials give an adverse opinion when they say they do not receive financial statements that are fairly presented.
Decatur County’s annual audit also includes 10 findings detailing significant deficiencies and other areas of noncompliance in the Office of County Mayor, Office of Assessor of Property, and the Decatur County Public Library, the press release went on to say.
“The audit findings related to the Office of County Mayor include expenditures exceeding the appropriations approved by the county commission; accounting deficiencies; a failure to solicit competitive bids for a used fire truck; and failure to maintain adequate employee leave records,” the press release said.
“Decatur County has also not complied with its minimum fund balance policy which requires the unrestricted minimum fund balance of the General Fund to be at least 10 percent of expenditures. On June 30, 2019 this balance was $158,948, which is $614,726 below the minimum fund balance requirement.”
Comptroller Justin P. Wilson weighed in.
“The problems in Decatur County require the county’s full attention,” Wilson said in a press release.
“In addition to the problems noted above, our Office has also not approved the county’s fiscal year 2020 budget. While we stand ready to provide appropriate assistance, county leaders must also take responsibility to immediately address these issues.”
As The Tennessee Star reported last year, the county had 11 state audit findings as compared to eight findings in its 2018 audit.
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