Adams County audit nearly finished

Published 12:13am Friday, September 20, 2013

NATCHEZ — Adams County’s belated audit should be submitted to the state today, putting the county in the position of being able to once again receive state road funding.

The county’s audit for fiscal year 2011-2012 was due to the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor June 30, but Adams County Administrator Joe Murray said the firm hired to complete the audit — Neiman and Associates of McComb — did not start in time to meet the deadline even though the county had provided all necessary documentation when requested.

The penalty for that late audit was a suspension of federal funds directed to Adams County through the Mississippi Department of Transportation. Any county or municipality that receives more than $500,000 in federal funding has to have the audit completed by nine months after the end of the previous fiscal year.

Murray said he expects to receive the final draft of the audit today, and will forward it to the state auditor’s office as soon as he gets it. Once the state auditor approves the audit and posts it on the office’s website, all of the county’s payments from the federal government through MDOT will be released.

The audit is not considered final until MOSA approves and posts it.

“I will be looking daily on the website and checking with MOSA for when they get it on their website,” he said. “MDOT is not going to take a draft, they want to see a final audit.”

Murray said he expects a turnaround time of approximately a week between the submission and the final approval of the audit.

Supervisors President Darryl Grennell said only one project has been affected by the consequences of the late audit, a bridge on Lower Woodville Road that was scheduled to be replaced but has been delayed because of the suspension of funds.

Grennell said he spoke with Rep. Robert Johnson (D-Natchez), who is the chairman of the state house transportation committee, about the matter Thursday.

“We don’t want that bridge to be impacted,” Grennell said. “We have got all these companies coming in, and that bridge has to be replaced in order to handle loads that will be coming in and out — we can’t jeopardize that bridge.”

Murray said only seven of 82 Mississippi counties filed their audits for 2011-2012 by the deadline.