Jackson’s Internal Audit Division disbanded

Published: Sep. 12, 2023 at 7:08 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - A city the size of Jackson no longer has an Internal Audit Division, which operated under the mayor’s administration.

The division is responsible for reviewing city finances and making sure departments are complying with city, state, and federal laws. The administration did not present a budget for Internal Audit during the hearings.

Council President Aaron Banks said the administration and Internal Audit have not participated in Internal Audit Committee meetings since 2017. The council defunded the division and placed the workers under the Clerk of Council.

“Last Thursday, someone in administration on the executive side made the decision to lock them out of their computers and to lock them out of their computers where they still were employed by the executive branch, and that to me rings bells because that means there’s the hiding of information,” said Banks.

On Tuesday, the four employees with backgrounds in accounting and auditing were approved by the council for positions as Chief Deputy Clerks.

“This is to prevent the council from finding out on the back end financial transactions that happen or financial transactions that have happened that may be illegal or put us at risk,” said Banks. “For example, when you talk about the improper spending with Fuelman, when you talk about improper spending with anything that deals with our inventory.”

The Chief Deputy Clerks will have to rely on the administration to provide the documentation and information needed for council review. The auditing team officially starts on October 9. Mayor Chokwe Lumumba declined to comment on the department’s disbanding and transition.

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