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Harlan Industrial Development Authority Board takes steps toward better bookkeeping

By: Matthew Rand Email
By: Matthew Rand Email

HARLAN, Ky. (WYMT) - In March, state auditors released a report highlighting multiple instances of poor financial record-keeping in Harlan County government.

Tuesday night, members of the Harlan County Industrial Development Authority held a special-called meeting to take action on the state auditor's recommendations.

The state auditor's report found that in 2012, the county absorbed $176,000 in I.D.A. debt without approval from the fiscal court.

The first order of business at Tuesday's I.D.A. Board meeting was to appoint an attorney to begin the process of conducting a forensic audit of the agency's finances, something newly-appointed chairman Harry Gibson says had been neglected in recent years.

"You know the state requested, and it's by state law that a CPA does this audit, and they do get a copy of the audit," Gibson said. "That had not been done."

The board also moved to make the full payment on the agency's liability and casualty insurance.

"We have some property that's under lease, and some of them is on a lease purchase basis, and we wanted to make sure those properties were covered," Gibson said.

Gibson says the board will also do a better job of making regular reports to the fiscal court.

Gibson wouldn't comment on how business was conducted in his department before his tenure, but says he wants to make sure things are done the right way going forward.

"We have several projects that are coming down the pipeline and we want to make sure that there's nothing in the past to haunt us, and that's the reason why we took the action here tonight."

Gibson says he is hopeful the state auditor's office be accommodating as the board works to improve state and federal compliance.

Gibson says he expects to have the auditing process complete by the first of the year.

The next regular I.D.A. Board meeting is set for August 19th.

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