Macon audits highlight issues with property, contracts

The city of Macon doesn’t have an up-to-date database of all the property it owns or an accurate database of city contracts, but it does a pretty good job of tracking city vehicles, recent internal audit reports state.

The mayor’s office said it’s reviewing the reports, which will be the subject of a City Council work session scheduled at 5 p.m. today at City Hall. Council members will discuss the two audits, produced by the city’s in-house auditor in April and June, and another that was highly critical of cash controls at the city-owned Bowden Golf Course.

When it comes to city-owned land and buildings, Macon “has no systematic means of determining the number and type of properties it owns, their availability for occupancy, their historical and appraised values and the terms of the related lease, rental or use agreements,” the auditor found.

The city clerk keeps a database of all city contracts, but in some cases the contracts in that database are out of date. Auditors examined 500 contractors and found that individual city departments have negotiated contract amendments without telling the city clerk “to replace contract A with contract A1, the amended version,” the report states. As for vehicles, the auditor determined those records to be “adequately maintained,” but at least two record keeping issues — a difficulty tracking some police cars and a paperwork issue when surplus vehicles are auctioned off — were noted in the report. It was not clear Monday how serious those issues are.

“I want to give (the internal auditor) an opportunity to walk me through it (before discussing it),” Macon Chief Administrative Officer Thomas Thomas said Monday.

Councilman Erick Erickson, chairman of the council’s Public Properties Committee, said he and council President Pro-Tem James Timley requested audits of the city’s property register last year.

“It’s ridiculous how out-of-hand it has gotten,” Erickson said. “They really have no idea what properties we own, what revenue we’re getting.”

To contact writer Travis Fain, call 744-4213.