Originally created 10/31/06

Audit of city golf course is going on

A financial audit of Augusta Municipal Golf Course is in progress in the wake of the resignation of its manager Oct. 19, according to city officials.

Recreation department Director Tom Beck said he called for a cash audit the day that Guy Reid resigned after nine years managing the facility. The audit by the city's internal auditor Baird & Co. is under way, he said.

"Once I receive the results of the audit, we will act appropriately on those findings," Mr. Beck said.

He said Mr. Reid had said previously that he was pursuing other employment options.

The audit became public Monday after Mayor Pro Tem Marion Williams asked the city's finance committee to discuss city policy concerning audits after the resignation of employees who are responsible for the city's financial matters.

City Administrator Fred Russell said that some discrepancies have been found but that there is no city policy that authorizes him to call for financial audits.

Mr. Williams said he could understand Mr. Russell's reluctance to call for a full audit if initial findings dealt only with petty cash.

"But there a lot more than petty cash at stake here," the mayor pro tem said. "We're talking about the sale of food and alcoholic beverages, soft drinks, selling shirts, golf balls ... And we've been hearing about the money that was lost or operating in the red at the golf course.

"When someone leaves like that handles that, I think there ought to be something in place that our auditors automatically go and come back and tell us about deposits, night deposits. All of that stuff should be in place."

Mr. Williams is the chairman of a commission subcommittee that has been investigating the recreation department. He and another subcommittee member, Commissioner Calvin Holland, have been critical of the management of the golf course, in addition to other areas of the department.

Commissioner Andy Cheek said other entities that the city funds also should be audited.

The committee approved Commissioner Don Grantham's motion to have Mr. Russell formulate a policy for an internal audit after the resignations of employees who have access to cash or significant inventory.

Commissioner Jerry Brigham said there should be some significant levels of inventory or dollar amounts the departing employee is responsible for before such audits are called for.

Reach Sylvia Cooper at (706) 823-3228 or sylvia.cooper@augustachronicle.com.


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