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Augusta city leaders pass new credit card policy to keep tabs on tax dollars

Published: Jun. 15, 2021 at 7:37 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 15, 2021 at 9:22 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Augusta commissioners are establishing a way to keep track of how your tax dollars are spent by city leaders. Augusta’s elected officials have had access to city credit cards for 20 years but there’s never been a policy in place to monitor credit card use. On Tuesday, commissioners voted to created one.

Commissioners voted to establish a policy for credit card use as state law requires. They’ll use the state model as a guide for the city policy. That model details the penalties for misusing a card including revoking an official’s privilege to use it. It also requires the city to designate a “Card administrator” whose responsibility is to manage credit card use and detect if anyone is misusing them. The state model also calls for the administrator to complete monthly audits.

Last night Mayor Davis released a statement in response to his credit card use.

In it he called for his cards to be audited by a local company.

Many commissioners are on board, but some have questions about the process.

“I thought is was an interesting step, I’ve never seen someone who’s under scrutiny be able to request their own auditor. I think that’s something that the commission or the administrators office should be tasked with,” said Commissioner Brandon Garrett, District 8.

“If it promotes transparency and we can make sure that this government continues to run in a effective way, in a transparent way, I think that we all oughta support it and go in that direction,” said Commissioner Jordan Johnson, District 1.

Commissioner Brandon Garrett thinks the audit is a good idea but he would like the commission or administrator to select the company and he’d like a more complex audit.

“With a forensic audit, I think you would dive a little deeper into seeing exactly where did the money go, who did it go to, as well as hopefully asking the tough questions of where is the documentation,” said Commissioner Garrett.

Garrett says doing an deeper audit will help clear up some of the questionable expenditures and help taxpayers see that leaders are trying to be transparent.

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