Friday, March 14, 2014

State Auditor can now review economic development projects

State Auditor Stacey Pickering issued the following press release:

State Funded Programs Added to Auditor’s Purview

House Bill 1318 passes both Chambers without a dissenting vote

JACKSON- Landmark legislation allowing the State Auditor’s Office to conduct compliance and performance audits on state-funded economic development bond programs has unanimously passed both the House of Representatives and Senate.  It is now on its way to Governor Phil Bryant, who has supported the need for such legislation since his service as State Auditor. 

House Bill 1318 allows the Auditor to audit programs administered by the Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) that heretofore have had little or no independent, third party, oversight even though they all utilize taxpayer money.  One such previously unaudited program helped fund the failed Beef Processors Plant in Yalobusha County.

“I am grateful to Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, House Speaker Philip Gunn, members of the legislature and our other state leaders for their support of this important measure,” State Auditor Stacey Pickering said. “I particularly thank MDA for their cooperation in crafting this measure.

“This is good-government legislation which will allow my office to work with MDA to conduct necessary audits of projects beyond the Mississippi Major Economic Impact Act, hence further protecting Mississippi taxpayers.” 

Since 2009, several hundred million dollars in incentives have been awarded by MDA that the State Auditor has not had the authority to audit.

Pickering especially praised Representative Jerry Turner, R-Baldwyn, for authoring House Bill 1318 and Senator David Blount, D-Jackson, who helped maneuver the bill through the Senate.

“Jerry and David have both been steadfast in their support of transparency in government.  They share my belief that no public funds are too sacred to be off limits for the Auditor’s Office to monitor the way they are spent.  On behalf of all Mississippi taxpayers we thank them both for all their efforts,” Pickering said. 

Specifics of the legislation:

·         Allows risk assessment and long-term cost benefit analysis of economic development programs
·         Adds higher risk programs to audits
·         Maintains OSA’s high standards of auditing without endangering private sector proprietary and confidential data

Kingfish note: Good place to start: Kior.  Postponed their earnings call and report that were supposed to take place yesterday until next week when the company will also release its annual report.  


Claire Underwood said...

Curious to see if "can investigate" will translate to "will investigate"

Anonymous said...

Better place to start - existing authority. Go down the street from Auditor's office to Hinds County Courthouse; audit past few years under Robert Graham's 'leadership'; pay particular interest in Airwaves' contracts.

Glad for auditor's success in getting this legislation passed, but disappointed in his failure to look into contracting practices in the courthouse.

Anonymous said...

Nailed it, 8:51. Stacey is one of the worst auditors in recent memory. Lazy doesn't begin to cover it.

Anonymous said...

That so called ordained Baptist preacher clown could not audit the Kangaroo store/station on High Street. What a joke his office is, he will be overwhelmingly re-elected next year, what happens when all the voters live in the land of the blind.

Anonymous said...

Is this not a joke? The man and/or his office did not audit state agencies, like the DMR, for 10 years and so they are going to give him more over site. And when he found that the Ms. Marine Resource Foundation had misused over a million dollars he settled for two 30 year old boats that were donated to the Foundation, sold them and forgave over $900,000. from his dear friends who did not spend one penny out of pocket to settle the matter. Yet he will run for the camera every time he finds a school clerk stealing a few thousand dollars and do his best to have that person sent to prison. The man just needs to go back to being a huckster, I mean consultant and allow a real auditor an opportunity to do the job right.This article is a joke,right?

Anonymous said...

Like Stacey Pickering,this is a joke,right? He has a whole list of agencies he has not audited since he took office. Why would anybody think he needs more to oversee?

Anonymous said...

No way in Hades that Pickering investigates any of the projects on the long list of Haley Barbour failures. No way. The way Barbour handed out money to boondoggles the only way to differentiate him from President Epic Fail is by his shade.

Anonymous said...

Seems as I recall the circuit clerk is responsible for records organization (book-keeping) for the board of supervisors. Where is he in the complaint section?

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Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

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This is definitely a Beaver production.

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