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Board votes for audit committee

An audit committee comprised of the chairperson and vice chairperson of the Prince Edward County Board of Supervisors will convene following a motion passed on a split vote of 4-3, with Buffalo District Supervisor C.R. “Bob” Timmons Jr., Leigh District Supervisor Jerry Townsend and Lockett District Supervisor Robert M. “Bobby” Jones voting against the motion.

The motion, placed by Vice Chairman and Farmville 701 District Supervisor Jim Wilck, was read as follows: “I move the Prince Edward County Board of Supervisors create an audit committee of two supervisors consisting of the board of supervisors’ chairperson and vice chairperson. This audit committee will give a presentation of the audit by the auditors and then the board will get the report given to them by the independent auditors along with audit committee comments before any county employees or those the county might hire as consultants get to see the report.

The audit committee’s purpose is to assist the county board of supervisors in fulfilling its oversight responsibilities with financial reporting, internal control systems and audit processing.

Following the making of the motion, which was seconded by Prospect District Supervisor J. David Emert, County Administrator Wade Bartlett said, “Concerning the presentation of the audit, does that mean the draft audit? There is a lot of work before this is ready for publication. And if it is, that’s fine but that means that audit committee will have to complete all of the pre-work for that audit. Which is fine with me.”

He said it was almost impossible, in his opinion, to do what the motion said.

“If financial staff to include the treasurer does not look at these documents, this document can’t be created,” Bartlett said.

“If the audit committee wants to do that, that’s fine and you can do that. There’s a lot of work before this report is done on both my staff, myself,” Bartlett said. “The school’s financial staff, they’re as big a player in this as is Social Services. I’m just confused what you mean by the audit committee and board will see everything before the staff can see it.”

“I think this might have come forward because of the problems that Piedmont Regional Jail had, and obviously that had problems and have problems,” Jones said.

The Fiscal 2017 audit of the Piedmont Regional Jail Authority saw excessive spending, poor internal controls and a lack of documentation for spending on credit cards.

Wilck said the committee would be interested in three pages of the financial report that is created by the audit.

“I personally see no reason to table it with all of the research that has gone into this,” Wilck said. “The timing is right, the timing is good.”

He said it had nothing to do with all of the numbers.

“Your motion was very detailed, but I think it’s more than what you just said,” Timmons said regarding the motion compared to his description of being interested in three pages out of the finance report. “Jerry’s point is to sit down and define the scope specific to what you want. I’m in favor of the committee, I have no issue with the committee doing it but as long as the committee knows what they’re supposed to do.”