AUGUSTA, Ga, (WJBF) – Augusta’s government is a big money operation, and some commissioners say the best way to get the citizens to trust how that money is being spent is with a forensic audit of all departments.
“When you got a lot of people out there saying y’all need to do something down there something needs to be done, I’m all about transparency,” said Commissioner Catherine Smith McKnight.
Commissioners McKnight and Clarke renewing their calls from last year for the forensic audit.
“More and more of the citizens are asking for transparency, they’re asking for this to be done,” said Commissioner John Clarke.
But a majority of commissioners disagreed saying the city has an audit every year, and that forensic audits are expensive and only done when criminal activity is suspected.
“With the cost that it bears makes no sense, especially where there is no justification for the expense,” said Commissioner Dennis Williams.
“Somebody did something somebody stole some money. there’s no indication here I don’t see why we have to keep rehashing this same issue I don’t a reason why if somebody showed me a reason why I would go with it,” said Mayor Pro-Tem Bobby Williams.
Commissioner Clarke changed the motion from a forensic Audit to an in-depth audit, but still could not get support to approve, with some accusing the audit supporters of operating in bad faith.
“I believe the objective is to make the government look bad,” said Commissioner Dennis Williams.
And at least for now no forensic auditors will be looking at the city’s books.
Commissioners were told that this year the city will request bids from new companies to conduct the city’s required annual financial audit.