AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – City leaders are considering plans to bring more accountability to government credit cards.
Tuesday they are scheduled to vote on establishing a credit card policy based on state guidelines.
The mayor and a handful of other officials have city credit cards, yet there is no policy for their use.
“Having a policy to simply justify tell you wants needed when you use your card and tell you different situations you can use it it would be easier and simpler for everyone concerned,” says Commissioner Dennis Williams.
In a statement issued last night, Mayor Hardie Davis says he has asked for the use of those cards to be part of an audit that’s already being conducted on several city departments.
You can read his full statement below:
To provide a timely response to recent unsubstantiated allegations of abuse, misuse, and misconduct of taxpayer funds through the use of City-owned credit and purchase cards, I am directing, according to Title 1 General Government Section, 1-2-26 (k), that the current ongoing
external audit of the financial management practices of several City Departments by SME CPAs
(Serotta, Maddocks, and Evans CPAs) be expanded to include the Mayor’s credit card usage.
SME CPAs is one of the oldest and most significant tax, accounting, and auditing firms in Augusta. Fortunately, SME CPA is already engaged in conducting similar audits for the City. The addition of the Office of the Mayor and the Mayor’s credit card usage can be accomplished with little additional expense to the local government.
Unsupported allegations of the nature of those that have been recklessly reported by some local
media entities potentially weaken public trust and confidence in our elected leaders and the ability of our City to represent its citizens effectively. Additionally, it has the chilling effect of hindering economic growth and development opportunities as businesses are constantly looking
at how cities manage their financial resources.
Accordingly, it is appropriate that an external audit be conducted to confirm government compliance with state and local laws. The audit will recommend areas where current accountingAugusta Mayor Hardie Davis
practices should be revised to strengthen the credibility of the public employees responsible for
substantiating compliance with the City’s financial guidelines. SME CPAs will also investigate the
allegations of fraud or corruption; and revise, as necessary, the processes used to account for public funds accurately. This is an opportunity to focus holistically on financial governance and
procedures and not a person or elected office. The hope is that the audit is complete within 90
days, under coordination with SME CPAs (Serotta, Maddocks, and Evans CPAs).