AN ACT TO ENHANCE THE INDEPENDENCE OF THE ANNUAL AUDIT OF UNITS OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT PREVIOUSLY THE SUBJECT OF AN AUDIT BY THE STATE AUDITOR, TO REQUIRE GARNISHMENT OF CERTAIN MONIES OWED TO AN ELECTED OFFICIAL OF A UNIT OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT IN CERTAIN INSTANCES, TO PROVIDE IT IS A CRIME FOR AN ELECTED OFFICIAL TO MISUSE THE ELECTED OFFICE FOR PERSONAL FINANCIAL GAIN, AND TO PROVIDE THAT A PUBLIC OFFICER ALSO SERVING ON A NONPROFIT BOARD SHALL NOT ENGAGE IN SELF-DEALING WITH REGARD TO AWARD OF PUBLIC AGENCY CONTRACTS TO THAT NONPROFIT.
House amendment to the 3rd edition makes the following changes.
Amends new GS 159-34(d), now authorizing the Local Government Commission (Commission) to require the governing board of a local government or public authority that has been the subject of an investigative audit with findings by the State Auditor, upon receipt of the investigative report pursuant to State law, to select the certified public accountant to conduct the annual audit required by the statute (previously, authorized the Commission to select the certified public accountant upon notification of release of an investigate report with respect to that local government or public authority from the State Auditor pursuant to State law). Requires that the governing board select the public accountant from a list of three provided by the Commission. Makes organizational changes. Authorizes the Commission to use the authority established by new subsection (d) with respect to any unit of local government that has been the subject of an investigative audit by the State Auditor on or after July 1, 2018 (was, any unit of local government audited by the State Auditor on or after July 1, 2018).
More specifically makes the proposed changes to GS 147-64.6 and GS 159-34, set forth in Section 1 of the act, applicable to any investigative audit (was, audit) issued by the State Auditor on or after the date the act becomes law.
Modifies new GS 14-234.2, which makes it a Class H felony for a public officer or employee to financially benefit from their position, to specify that the statute applies to elected officers of political subdivisions of the State (was, elected officials). Makes conforming and clarifying changes. Makes new GS 14-234.2 effective January 1, 2022 (was, December 1, 2021).
Adds a mens rea requirement to the new Class 1 misdemeanor for local public officials participating in contracts benefits nonprofits with which they are associated, set forth in proposed GS 14-234.3, to require a knowing violation. Changes the definition provided for public official under the new statute, now defining public official to mean any individual who is elected or appointed to serve on a governing board of a political subdivision of the State, excluding an employee or independent contractor of that political subdivision of the State (was, any individual elected or appointed to serve or represent a political subdivision of the State other than an employee or independent contractor of that political subdivision of the State). Makes the proposed statute effective January 1, 2022 (was, December 1, 2021).