State Auditor Stacey Pickering issued the following press release:
In an effort to clarify the recent questions regarding the Mississippi Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS) audit of the City of Madison, and all 45 municipalities and public entities selected, please find the information below, as well as attachments detailing the entire PERS audit process.
Annually, PERS contracts audits to perform the test work on census data of each agencies pension plan. Currently, this program is in its second phase of implementation. PERS begins the process by generating a random sample of any governmental agency that contributes to the state retirement systems (It is this year’s random sample from PERS which included the City of Madison). After the random sample is collected, PERS contracts a private CPA firm to conduct the audits.
At this point, PERS requests that the State Auditor’s Office send a letter to the selected parties notifying them of their selection within the sample. This letter serves two functions. The first, and seemingly most obvious, is to notify the selected agencies of the upcoming audit. The second is to validate the contracted auditing firm that will be conducting the audit, in this case KPMG, and to ensure the cooperation of the agency to be audited.
This is an established program conducted solely by PERS and a contracted, private CPA firm. Let me be clear, the aforementioned audits are not selected, performed or amended by the State Auditor’s Office in any way.
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