Commission audit finding result of “oversight”

Published 12:51 pm Friday, March 11, 2016

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By Fred Guarino
The Lowndes Signal
An audit of the Lowndes County Commission released by the Alabama Department of Examiners of Public Accounts, Friday, included one finding, which County Commission Chairman Robert Harris attributed to an “oversight.”
The audit was conducted for the period of Oct. 1, 2012 through Sept. 30, 2013. Harris became chairman of the Lowndes County Commission in May of 2012.
According to the audit report released Friday by the Department of Examiners of Public Accounts, the finding “relates to the commission’s failure to comply with the Alabama Competitive Bid Law when purchasing equipment.”
Specifically, finding 2013-01 states, “During fiscal year 2013, the commission purchased a piece of equipment and a vehicle for amounts in excess of fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000) each, which were not purchased through an open competitive bid in accordance with the Alabama Competitive Bid Law.”
Harris told the Signal, “It was just an oversight, and we’ll take corrective action to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
Commission Administrator Jackie Thomas said one of the items was a piece of equipment the commission purchased at an auction, “We couldn’t have gotten any other way.” The other item, she said, was a vehicle, which Sheriff John Williams purchased from surplus, which she said “was such a good price.”
She said, “It won’t happen again… in neither instance… We will be more conscience.”
Harris said in the commission’s response to the audit, “Lowndes County Commission will make sure in the future that we follow the bid law when purchasing any item that cost fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000) or more.”

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