Putnam County has secured a place among just over a dozen Tennessee counties to earn a “clean” audit report from the state agency charged with examining local-government fiscal affairs.
Ninety of Tennessee’s 95 counties have been audited since the last fiscal year ended on June 30. Only 13 have been declared free of accounting discrepancies and defects in spending oversight.
Tennessee Comptroller Justin Wilson’s office issued a news release last week declaring that Putnam County’s financial management — as well as that of Lincoln and Louden — has recently been reviewed without identifying any “weaknesses or deficiencies in government operations.”
Elected officials from Putnam and other counties that earn clean audits deserve appreciation for making a serious commitment to “accurate financial reporting and clear checks and balances that help protect taxpayer money,” according to the comptroller’s office statement.
“A clean audit is a positive sign that a county government in on track,” Wilson said. “I commend all of the elected officials, leaders, and county staff who have committed to a well-run government. This is an accomplishment worth celebrating.”
Putnam County Executive Randy Porter indicated he was obviously quite pleased with the audit results, saying that one of his “primary goals” upon taking office in 2014 was to work toward a clean audit.
“This is really significant for Putnam County, as we know this has not happened in the past 25 years and possibly never,” Porter said in an emailed statement. Making Putnam County government more fiscally responsible “has truly been a team effort” among all the county’s elected leaders and department employees, he said.
On average, Tennessee counties examined this year by state auditors received 3.76 “findings” of fiscal failing or budget-management blundering of one sort or another. That number is an improvement from the previous fiscal year, when the state average per county was 4.26.
The other counties besides Putnam, Lincoln and Louden awarded recognition for state auditors finding no fault in their administrative financial affairs this year are Bedford, Blount, Franklin, Gibson, Giles, Marshall, Rutherford, Tipton, Unicoi and Williamson.