State audit uncovers management problems in Grainger County

State audit uncovers management and operations problems in Grainger County


RUTLEDGE (WATE) - The Tennessee State Comptroller's Office says it uncovered a number of management and operations problems that the Grainger County government needs to take steps to improve.

The comptroller's review indicates two departments, the road superintendent's office and the director of schools' office, failed to use a competitive bidding process for some purchases of used equipment.

The report says the road superintendent's office bought a used brush clipper for $15,500 after obtaining only one price quote. The director of schools' office spent $403,700 on nine used buses without first going through a competitive bidding process.

State law requires competitive bids for purchases valued at more than $10,000.

The audit also revealed that time sheets for some sheriff's department employees were not signed by the employees, their supervisors or the sheriff. Time sheets that aren't reviewed for accuracy can result in incorrect payments.

Also noted in the audit were a county clerk's office employee who pled guilty last year to the theft of more than $10,000 in motor vehicle sales tax and registration fees and the five sheriff's department employees indicted by the Grainger County Grand Jury for various charges related to theft, rape and inappropriate treatment of prisoners. Trial dates are pending.

Auditors also determined several departments within the Grainger County government did not properly separate financial transaction duties between employees. The comptroller's office says having multiple employees involved in transactions allows them to check each other's work, reducing the likelihood of theft or mistakes.

The comptroller's office is recommending Granger County adopt a centralized system of accounting, budgeting and purchasing.

"Iam concerned that Grainger County had so many varied findings in this audit,"Comptroller Justin P. Wilson said. "Our auditors highlighted a number ofproblems - up to and including criminal activity - which require correctiveaction. I hope and trust that Grainger County officials will take thesefindings seriously so next year's audit shows improvement."


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