The Smith County Commissioners Court was commended for keeping transparent financial records and for exceeding conventional reporting requirements in an annual independent financial audit report presented by Henry & Peters, P.C., during a regular meeting this week.
CPA Tal Glenn thanked the Smith County Auditor’s staff for their cooperation and assistance during the 3-week investigation to produce the report. For the last four years the County has elected to participate in a “comprehensive” financial report, the highest level of reporting that can be performed for a governmental entity, going above and beyond what is required.
“I am glad to see the County is taking the extra time to go to this level of reporting,” Glenn said during his presentation. “Everything the county does financially in reporting at a higher standard helps to maintain high ratings and the County should be commended for that.”
The 125 page report is available for the public to view on the Smith County Web site at http://www.smith-county.com/.
“We have taken great strides to make every financial transaction not only transparent, but easily accessible for the public,” said County Judge Joel Baker who serves as the County’s budget officer and the presiding officer of Commissioners Court. “We are literally an open book.”
Last week Smith County was awarded with the Leadership Circle Platinum Award by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, the highest award presented by the state for financial transparency. The Leadership Circle recognizes local governments across Texas that are striving to meet a high standard for financial transparency online by opening their books to the public; providing a clear, consistent picture of spending; and sharing information in a user friendly format. The new Platinum designation highlights those entities that are setting the bar in their transparency efforts. Smith County was one of only 10 counties in Texas to receive this distinguished award.
Smith County also received the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for the 9th consecutive year in 2013.