CCT files contract for full audit

Published 9:20 am Monday, March 21, 2016

The county’s joint economic and community development board Carter County Tomorrow (CCT) has, for the first time since its inception, contracted for a full annual audit of its finances.
The Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury received the contract on March 11, one day after the most recent CCT meeting. The audit will review the fiscal year ending June 30, 2015. John Dunn, public information officer with the Comptroller’s Office, said the contract was approved on March 18.
The Blackburn, Childers and Steagall (BCS) account firm will conduct the audit at a cost of $10,000, which is the same company that audits the City of Elizabethton, Elizabethton Electric Department, Elizabethton City Schools and other municipal entities.
“The importance of protecting and spending taxpayers’ dollars has always been a top priority,” said CCT Board Chair Richard Tester. “In the past, we had a financial review from BCS and thought that was sufficient.”
Following an investigation by the Comptroller’s Office which found five financial process deficiencies, the Comptroller requested a full audit. Dunn said it is required to have an annual audit. Funding for the agency comes from City of Elizabethton, City of Watauga and Carter County through taxpayer dollars.
According to Dunn, the Comptroller sent the first two requests for annual audit through the United States Postal Service to CCT to the same address at which board members received the third and final notice. According to Dunn, the notices were mailed on October 16, December 23 and February 18.
At the last CCT meeting, Sam LaPorte, one of three members acting as CCT president, said neither Eggers nor either of the two other acting presidents ever received the first two notices.
“Once we were contacted by the Comptroller’s Office to request the audit, we quickly signed a contract with BCS to perform the audit and comply with the Comptroller’s Office,” said Tester. “We welcome anyone to look at our finances, and we look forward to the results of the audit to prove to public their dollars are being spent wisely and according to law.”

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