State Auditor Shad White has announced the completion of a compliance audit of his own office. Mississippi law and auditing experts from the Auditor’s compliance audit division reviewed whether employees of the Office of the State Auditor were complying with all the laws that apply to their handling of public money.
“The professionals in our compliance audit division had never done a compliance audit of our own office, and it had been decades since a full audit had been done of the office,” said White. “We conducted this audit to hold ourselves to the same standard we hold everyone else in state government to. I pledged when I came into office that we would audit ourselves and publish the report, warts and all, for the voters to see.”
White said the audit showed several minor findings. Specifically, auditors determined bank account reconciliations should be performed earlier and some forms related to the operation of state-owned vehicles should be submitted. Additionally, the audit found that better records for procurement card use and contracted services should be kept.
“This audit of the auditor’s office shows that, while the office has been strong for some time, there are always ways to improve in state government,” said White. “My team is ready to move forward with a plan to fix the issues that this audit raised,” said White.
In response to the findings, the Auditor’s office has said that it will remedy any issues identified in the audit and bolster internal controls.
“I think the office will be strong for it after we get the remediation plan done,” White said. “I am excited that we, one, have a clean slate going forward and that we will have strong/improved practices in place. I like the fact that if another state agency complains about us doing a compliance audit of them, that we can say ‘look we’ve done this ourselves too.”
The compliance audit comes after a peer review of the Office of the State Auditor in August. Peer reviewers from across the country came to Mississippi, conducted that review, and issued no findings related to how the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor conducts its audits.
“I want to thank my compliance audit team for their excellent work here. It’s not easy asking part of your team to confront and examine the practices of the remainder of your staff. I told them to treat this as they would treat any other compliance audit, and they did just that.”