Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

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Columbia County

In a Flawed Process, After 4 Decades, County to Rank Auditing Proposals 

The County received 4 proposals and will decide whether-or-not to rehire Powell & Jones, again.

COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL – After 4 decades, Columbia County's Audit Committee was scheduled to meet yesterday afternoon to rank the auditing proposals. The committee met and the meeting bombed. Purchasing Director Ray Hill violated the County Charter and did not post the meeting or the proposals to the County website. That was not the only problem.

Most of the emails sent by Purchasing Director Hill would not have gone to their intended recipients because he used the wrong email syntax. It appears that the Sheriff, County 5 Chairman Rusty DePratter, and Assist. County Manager Ben Scott were the only ones that received the emails directly from Mr. Hill.

On July 15, the County received electronic copies of each auditing proposal. For an unknown reason, Mr. Hill combined them into one 245 page document, which made ranking the proposals side by side almost impossible.

The individual  proposals are here

Assist. County Manager Scott, after being made aware of the problems, rescheduled the Audit Committee meeting for tomorrow morning at 9 o'clock. Mr. Scott also posted the meeting to the County Meeting Calendar with the supporting material, however, he didn't breakout the four proposals from the 245 page combined document.

The submissions came from:

• Carr, Riggs & Ingram, LLC, Tallahassee
• Moore, Stephens, Lovelace, Orlando
• Powell & Jones, Lake City
• Purvis Gray & Company, LLP, Tallahassee

You can download the ranking sheet here. Rank the candidates. See how you match up the committee and The 5.

The County 5 will have the final say and is not bound by the decision of the committee. The 5 is scheduled to make its final decision on August 6, however, the Audit Committee can request more time to make a decision.


The process has been flawed from almost the beginning: see
Auditing Services RFP: We don't want prices.

The Audit Committee is not scheduled to interview the proposers before they rank them, and neither are the County 5.

The Columbia County 5. The legend continues.

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