SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - Mississippi State Auditor Stacey Pickering released a statement Friday about his involvement in the Singing River Health System pension fund shortfall.
“The State Auditor's Office has received a request from Singing River Health System (SRHS) and the Jackson County Board of Supervisors to review the system's financial operation. We will be working cooperatively with SRHS to review the issues that have arisen from the latest audit, and offering any technical assistance necessary. Further action by OSA will be determined by what issues, if any, arise from this process," the statement said.
Both Singing River hospital administrators and Jackson County supervisors asked the auditor's office to review the pension fund problems. What that financial review will entail hasn't been worked out yet.
“We are committed to complete transparency and accountability to the citizens of Jackson County, and have invited the State Auditor's Office to conduct any review deemed appropriate,” said SRHS CEO Kevin Holland. “We want to ensure that all pertinent questions are answered openly and in a manner that reassures the community and our employees.”
“As a Board of Supervisors, we are confident that this is the right step and applaud the health system for being willing to address this matter in a spirit of openness and transparency,” said Board President Troy Ross, speaking on behalf of the Jackson County Board of Supervisors. “We are confident that this external review will help us understand these issues better as we work together to move the system forward.”
Singing River Health System administrators recently announced the hospital hasn't contributed to its employees' retirement fund since 2009. Now, that fund is running out of money.
“We are doing everything we can to protect and preserve retirement security for our employees and retirees,” Holland said.