AUDIT COMMITTEE MEETING MINUTES
7 MARCH 2023
The Chair Commissioner David Wamble opened the meeting asking Commissioner Matt Rubelsky to offer a prayer and lead the pledge. The Minutes of 21 March 2022 were moved for approval by Commissioner David Adams, seconded by Commissioner Joyce Woodard (sitting in for member Commissioner Erin Curry), and were approved 6 – 0 (no representative from District 7).
The Chair thanked the Chief Executive Officer, Giles County Chamber of Commerce, Jessie Parker for providing the meeting space for the Committee. For the first agenda item – Review of 21-22 Audit the Chair asked Financial Management Director (FMD) Beth Moore-Sumners to provide information on that audit. She expressed her appreciation for members of the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury office, Ms. Rhonda Davis who has responsibility for six Tennessee counties for attending; along with Ms. Davis were Mark Harvil and Chase Griffin. The FMD mentioned 192 pages of the audit are on line at www.comptroller.tn.gov website and include other offices as well, such as the Sheriff’s and the Clerk and Master’s for example. She then credited the audit which showed “no findings” to the County Executive (CE) and to the Department Heads for being careful and following the rules for internal controls. Department Heads are required to have their own internal control procedures in place and available for review by the state auditors. Commissioner David Adams also spoke up saying he too appreciated what the Heads of Departments do. The Chair said that’s why this will be a short and boring meeting because of the good job done. The FMD also commented on the practice of getting up front of any potential issue and having a good relationship to the auditors in resolving those issues early on. Commissioner Evan Baddour asked how Giles County compares to other counties and are there any common findings, stating we look good now, but anything that might need watching. Ms. Davis did mention several issues such as purchasing, accounting, internal controls, theft for example, she had experienced in other counties.
2nd Agenda Item – Review of new Resolution. The Chair stated he had asked the CE for guidance on responsibilities in chairing this particular committee and what action had actually created the committee. The CE said that after reviewing previous data that the committee was established in 2010 or 2011 in full commission but no resolution was created. He had prepared a draft of A Resolution of the Giles County Commission to Establish the Duties and Responsibilities of the Audit Committee which was provided as a handout. The wording on the resolution per the CE was taken directly from a County Technical Assistance Service (CTAS) page. Discussion centered on the proposed resolution wording, i.e. where fraud concerns are reported. Resolution reads “the Audit Committee chair and/or the Comptroller’s hotline (800.232.5454)”, with Ms. Davis saying you have five business days to report to the Comptroller’s office, which raised the questions about placing a link on the county’s website. That link could also take you to additional information being reported, which meant that the person raising the issue has several approaches, one being a direct link to the Comptroller, or through the county who has the requirement to respond (within five business days). The requirement to report any raised issue, e.g. fraud, is applicable to all county representatives. A motion by Commissioner Evan Baddour and seconded by Commissioner Gayle Jones to provide a link on the county website to allow reporting fraud/abuse was made and with role call was approved 6 – 0 (no representative from District 7). It was understood from the CE there would be no additional cost to providing such a link.
The proposed resolution, now including the above motion, was moved for approval by a motion from Commissioner Caleb Savage and seconded by Commissioner Evan Baddour. Motion approved after discussion on number of required meetings per year and per Ms. Davis at least one meeting per year. If you don’t meet one time, you are not considered as a functioning committee and will not qualify for the 3-Star program. The CE explained the 3-Star program, managed by the Economic Development Council (EDC}, is typically a requirement for many of the county grants.
Next Agenda Item – Overview of Internal Controls. The FMD discussed some of the process, for example with several of the county’s office having only 3 people on staff, and the internal controls requires different personnel within an office providing different functions. Example: when handling funds different personnel receiving those funds, recording those funds, banking those funds, and even reporting those actions within the system might require 4 people or some creative approach to be consistent with internal controls. The FMD also mentioned there is an Information Technology (IT) audit as well. Commissioner David Adams asked the FMD if all Department Heads, which are required to have their own internal control procedures in place and evaluated annually, provide those procedures to the FMD with which she replied no. The FMD did say the Department Head internal controls are not reviewed by her office but must be in place and available for review by the state auditors.
Commissioner Roger Reedy stated that in 2011 he had asked CTAS to come down to discuss the responsibilities of an audit committee. They had noted that the committee is a “county” committee and could review others, e.g. utility districts, or others who might receive funding from the county. Commissioner Reedy mentioned new water lines in connection with that particular degree of review. The Chair said if anyone has something, bring it to this committee and it will be discussed. Ms. Davis mentioned that some counties have no commissioners on their audit committee, preferring to bring in members such as Certified Public Accountants (CPA) or bankers who might be more familiar with audits. She also said that all audits are on their website as well, giving examples of schools, 911, Industrial Development Board (IDB.)
The Chair asked for any Old or New Business. There being none, Commissioner Davis Adams moved for adjournment and with Commissioner Gayle Jones providing the second the meeting was adjourned.
ATTENDEES: Members of the Committee Chair Commissioner David Wamble, Commissioners Joyce Woodard (for absent member Erin Curry), Gayle Jones (for absent member Brad Butler), David Adams, Caleb Savage (for absent member Mathew Hopkins), Evan Baddour, and (absent member Maurice Woodard) Other Commissioners Dr. James Lathrop, Matt Rubelsky, Joseph Sutton, Annelle Guthrie, Roger Reedy Other attendees: County Executive Graham Stowe, Financial Management Director Beth Moore-Sumners, Shana Woodard, Chief Deputy Brandon Beard, Comptroller Office Rhonda