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Mecklenburg County revamps financial procedures

http://66.225.205.104/LM20100512.mp3

Mecklenburg County will be making some sweeping changes to the way departments manage their finances. The county's departments are used to handling their own business affairs without too much interference from the county's main finance department. A report compiled by county officials found that helped lead to inconsistent financial management and accounting procedures. They plan to fix that in part by designating a "fiscal control compliance officer" in each department that will report to the county's central office. County General Manager John McGillicuddy chaired the committee that made the recommendations. "In many ways it changes the finance department's role from one of being after-the-fact coming in and helping to fix things to really ensuring consistency in the competency of the people that are working there," says McGillicuddy. The county's main finance department had to step in last year after two DSS employees were accused of taking $110,000 from a charity the department sponsored. Audits turned up sloppy bookkeeping and all financial matters were then transferred to the central office. County officials also plan on making a number of other changes like more frequent audits, quarterly meetings between department financial managers, and establishing a defined process to resolve conflicts. McGillicuddy expects some of the changes will make it easier for departments to share resources and save money.