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Who’s Minding Gwinnett’s Cookie Jar?

Who is providing oversight to ensure Gwinnett citizens are getting value for our tax dollars and that all money is properly spent?

Fellow Gwinnettians, do you realize our county government spends approximately $1.4 billion dollars per year?

Have you ever wondered how the County ensures taxpayers are getting good value?  How are county assets protected?  Who determines that taxpayer funds are properly utilized?  

Surely with a budget larger than the State of South Dakota someone is minding the cookie jar, right? 

Many governments, particularly larger ones, have an internal audit department to provide independent oversight of taxpayer funds.  We don’t have to look far to find examples of governments which include an audit function - the City of Atlanta, Dekalb County, and Cobb County all have an audit department.

Are you wondering yet if Gwinnett has an audit department? Well we had one, but for some reason the leadership of Gwinnett County decided it was no longer needed.

If Gwinnett did have an audit department, what happened to it?  

Check back tomorrow to find out what the heck happened to Gwinnett County’s audit department. 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

John Cook November 30, 2012 at 08:04 AM
Oh, Steve, you say the monies for parks belongs to taxpayers. But our elected officials act like that is free money because it comes from the SPLOST. Yes, that 1% sales tax is free money in their opinion that "must be spent." So they dream up frivolous projects, such as dog parks--and realignment of Lilburn's Main Street--in order to spend that free money.
John Cook November 30, 2012 at 08:32 AM
Karsten, it appears to be a scheme of money laundering. Since the dozen or so cities and the County government cannot legally use public funds to advocate for the ballot referendums regarding any Special Local Option Sales Tax, the Chamber seems to have created a division that is willing to perform these activities so the City and County governments don't "get their hands dirity" by spending money directly for such illegal purpose. Originally Progress Gwinnett was registered with the Secretary of State as a corporate entity, but then they dissolved that entity within a matter of days. Why? I can only assume that a co-mingling of funds is much more easily accomplished without the separate corporate delineation. For quite a few years, the same employees were listed with the same titles with both the Chamber and with Partnership Gwinnett. Rather curious, eh?
John Cook November 30, 2012 at 08:37 AM
But, Diana, you forgot to mention that Partnership Gwinnett's report cards also indicates that they have spent funds that the City of LIlburn contributed for a purpose which is an illegal use of City taxpayer funds--the advocating and advertising in favor of the SPLOST referendum. That's illegal for the City to use taxpayer funds for that purpose, isn't it? It's also illegal to contribute funds to an entity that combines Lilburn's funds with the funds of the other municipalities within Gwinnett to accomplish that prohibited task.
John Cook November 30, 2012 at 08:50 AM
Diana, the Grand Jury indicted Kevin Kennerly, but I have not noticed any announcement of trial to date. Did I miss it? You say the courts will decide, but pardon "we the people" for being cynical regarding proper outcome. The term "unindicted conspirators" was used. I sometimes wonder whether we should coin the term "unconvicted felons."
Jim Regan November 30, 2012 at 05:30 PM
If you share our concern and would like to express your opinion directly to the Board of Commissioners please sign our petition, it will automatically generate an email to each commissioner. http://www.change.org/petitions/gwinnett-county-board-of-commissioners-establish-an-independent-audit-department

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