Atco Audit uncovers poor spending, leadership - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Atco Audit uncovers poor spending, leadership

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March 26, 2008

Pearson - Unlawful spending and money kept off the books.  Those were some of the findings of an audit of the Solid Waste Authority of Atkinson County.

And the auditors blame it on poor leadership at the Solid Waste Management Authority. This is just part of a audit of the county books in Atkinson County released to the Atkinson County Commission.

Newly elected Commission Chairman Linda Tanner looked over the audit and says she definitely sees a problem. "Personally, I think there's a problem with management," Tanner says.  "If definitely effects our bottom line and now we have issues we have to get beyond."

She's talking about the major issues uncovered by the audit into the Solid Waste Management Authority. Most of those stemming from poor leadership.

The audit found the authority did not meet Georgia law requiring all construction contracts be recorded in writing and available for public viewing.

It says the authority paid Christmas and performance bonuses in cash and left off the books.

It claims residential accounts were not properly managed.  So much so that 95% were over 120 days past due.

It said customer accounts were not accurately recorded either.

And finally, it found invoices had not been properly documented.

But the audit also stated that the authority was hundreds of thousands of dollars over budget.

The commissioners went behind closed doors to discuss legal and personnel issues brought up in the audit.  Determining if people may be fired, what disciplinary actions to take and new measures to put in place will require more time.

"This is the first time we've seen this audit today.  All of us.  We have to go home, study those issues, make notes and think about how we address this and go forward. We will have another meeting to dot hat in the very near future," Tanner says.

And they still need to hear part two of the audit. County spending was also audited.  Those findings will be revealed Thursday and could put more county leaders in hot water.

The audit was a review of records and spending from July one 2006 to June 30th of 2007.

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