The Horry County Solid Waste Authority (SWA) Finance Committee demonstrated the strange logic that pervades the agency while discussing annual audit results during a recent committee meeting.
At issue was an audit exception finding that approximately $6.5 million of authority money was potentially not collateralized over a weekend at the end of Fiscal Year 2019.
The $6.5 million came from a certificate of deposit that matured near the end of the business day on Friday June 28, 2019, the last business day of the fiscal year, and was not collateralized by the bank until the following business day, in accordance with standard bank policy, Monday July 1, 2019, the beginning of the new fiscal year.
All public monies on deposit with a bank must be secured (collateralized) by either Federal Deposit Insurance or investment vehicles, normally certificates of deposit.
Those are the technical facts of the issue. It must be stressed that at no time was the $6.2 million in danger of being lost.
However, that didn’t stop SWA board member Pam Creech from trying to blow the issue out of proportion with statements like, “I’m glad we didn’t lose that money,” and “We’re responsible for that $7 million.”
Creech went on to say the SWA should send a letter to Horry County Treasurer Angie Jones to make sure that “some kind of plan” is in place so “this doesn’t happen again.”
What Creech, and apparently the other committee members, failed to do was check to understand the background of the issue before pontificating in public at the committee meeting.
The Treasurer is solely responsible for the investment of county, school district, SWA and county airport department monies. The SWA board has no function in this process.
Jones notified the bank via email two days prior to the maturation date of the CD that the bank would need to increase collateralization of SWA monies by the amount coming in from the maturing CD.
GSD has viewed a copy of Jones’ email and of the bank’s fixed income sales director internal email recognizing the maturation and directing the collateralization to be done Friday (June 28th).