Watchdog report reveals lack of accountability with state credit - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Watchdog report reveals lack of accountability with state credit cards

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Millions of dollars charged to state credit cards, but who's watching that spending? A new report shows the answer is, no one.

"You want to trust everyone but sometimes we have to keep an eye on things and there's 28,000 cards out there that somebody needs to audit," explained Representative Becky Currie who serves as chair of PEER.

State agencies have credit cards to make purchases of $5,000 or less. Spending on the cards quadrupled between 2010 and 2014, totaling $93 million. The Joint Committee on Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Review looked at three agencies of different sizes to get a sample.

"This is just three agencies," noted Currie. "There's 28,000 those cards out there so if we took a view of all of it, I think it would probably be very scary."

PEER serves as a watchdog for state agencies. Representative Currie said the latest report was done after the legislature started taking a closer look at purchasing and contracts.

"What we found was a lack of knowing where the cards were," said Currie. "Somewhere in the drawers. There are policies and procedures that were not followed. We believe there's a lot of lack of training."

The report can now be used as a reason to change the system.

"I believe you'll see legislation because unfortunately sometimes if you don't make it law, sometimes policies don't get followed," added Currie. "And that's what's happened."

Currie said she hopes the report will send a message to state agencies to do it right because they will be watching and auditing the cards.

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