The State Auditor’s Office was unaware before this year that Singing River had financial problems because nobody with the health system or county alerted the agency.

“If the people on the ground wanted to raise the flag with us, then certainly we would have done what is being done now and come to their aid,” Brad White, Auditor Stacey Pickering’s chief of staff, told the Sun Herald. “Certainly, if there was an issue, we have cities and counties and public entities that call up here (for assistance) all the time.”

He said the auditor’s office has a technical division ready and willing to assist. The staff includes attorneys and accountants schooled in public finance. Although Jackson County receives annual audits of the county-owned health system, supervisors say they also were unaware of financial problems, despite signs that had emerged by 2013.

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