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S.C. lawmakers review changes for top state accounting position.

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Key Elements of S.C. Lawmakers Looking at Changes for State’s Top Accounting Job

TLDR:

Here are a few key points from the article:

  • South Carolina voters may decide whether to change the position of comptroller general from an elected to an appointed office.
  • A $3.5 billion accounting error led to the resignation of former comptroller general and raised concerns about financial management.

The South Carolina legislature is considering a significant change in the state’s financial management structure by potentially shifting the position of comptroller general from an elected role to one appointed by the governor. Currently, the comptroller general is elected every four years, but a recent $3.5 billion accounting error has raised doubts about the effectiveness of this system.

State senators have passed a resolution to put the question on the ballot in the upcoming November elections, giving voters the opportunity to decide on this change. The comptroller general is responsible for balancing the state’s books and ensuring financial accountability, similar to an accountant.

The accounting error that surfaced in recent months raised concerns about the management of state finances, leading to the resignation of former comptroller general Richard Eckstrom. The investigation revealed not only accounting discrepancies but also significant cash amounts, with nearly $2 billion found in a state account without clear ownership.

The current comptroller, Brian Gaines, appointed by the governor following Eckstrom’s resignation, supports the idea of making the position an appointed one to enhance financial oversight and accountability. The upcoming hearings with Gaines and Treasurer Curtis Loftis will shed more light on the financial situation and the need for potential changes in the state’s financial management practices.


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