As we unraveled this mystery the scene that pops into my mind is Homer Simpson doing his famous DOH after doing something boneheaded.
First up is why is the 2015 audit not online at OSA? The answer is the 2015 audit is in review and that it will not show up until the City gives OSA technical Assistance a copy of its 2014 audit. Further a letter was mailed on February 11, 2016 from the OSA’s Greg Higginbotham which stated:
As of February 5, 2016, this office has not received the Municipality’s Annual Financial Report for the Fiscal Year End 2014. Mississippi Code Section 21-35-31 requires this report to be filed with the State Auditor by September 30 of each year for the preceding calendar year. This statute also provides penalties for Municipalities who fail to file their reports. We ask that you file your report immediately.
We understand that there may be special circumstances causing your filing to be delayed. If this is the case, it is important that you make us aware of these circumstances. Please contact me at 800-321-1275 if the Municipality’s Annual Financial Report will not be forthcoming in the next few days.
If I may be so bold to give Municipal Clerk Gonzales some free advice since the above letter was addressed to the “Municipal Clerk” it would be to grab a large envelope and address it to Greg Higginbotham 501 North West Street, Suite 801, Jackson, MS 39201, put a copy of the 2014 report in that envelope, place the proper amount of postage on the envelope and mail it.
Finally now is a good time for everyone to refresh themselves on the DoJ disaster. First I recommend reading Mayor Fillingame’s veto of the City Council’s first effort to make the Fund whole that was issued back on February 5, 2016. Slabbed’s recap of the February 2, 2016 Council meeting is also well worth revisiting. All of this will come to a head on or before next Tuesday’s council meeting.
That entire early February 2016 time period was action packed. That is still not a good reason to ignore correspondence from OSA on an audit report that was issued months before.