From the Desk of State Auditor Stacey Pickering
As the State Auditor for Mississippi, my Office performs several vital services that ensure the accountability of state and local governments in Mississippi.
We are the primary auditor for the financial statements of the State of Mississippi, and issue the opinion on the State’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR). We also perform the annual Single Audit of the State of Mississippi, which is undertaken to ensure that federal funds coming to the state are expended for the intended purposes.
We audit about 40 percent of the counties in the state with our staff each year. We manage the contracts of CPA firms that perform the required annual audits of the other counties, plus all of the school districts in the State of Mississippi. We also verify that each municipality in the state subject to audit receives an annual audit from a CPA firm. Many of our investigations begin after a routine audit performed by my staff.
During the previous fiscal year, which ended on July 31, our Office recovered and returned more than $10 million for the taxpayers. I am proud to say that this is a record year for my Office, and since I was first elected we have now recovered over $19 million for the taxpayers.
We currently have 47 outstanding indictments, and 121 people that have pled or been convicted.
On a similar front, I was proud to support Senate Bill 2625, which became law earlier this year. Under this new law, an individual who has been convicted or pled guilty to stealing public funds in the state may not be employed by the state or any county, municipality or any other political subdivision. It is unfortunate, but on numerous occasions officials have stolen from one government agency only to then be employed by another agency at a later time.
If you suspect an improper activity by an elected official, officer, or employee of any government entity, I encourage you to file a complaint online at http://www.osa.ms.gov/fraud.html. You can also contact us at 1-800-321-1275.
It is an honor to serve as your State Auditor and to protect the taxpayers of Mississippi. If we could ever be of assistance to you, personally or professionally, please do not hesitate to contact my Office at any time.
Stacey E. Pickering