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Posted on: April 22, 2021

Polk County Clerk’s Inspector General Earns Re-Accreditation

The Clerk, Inspector General Staff, and Board of County Commissioners pose for a photo at a meeting

Bartow, Fla. (April 22, 2021) – Polk County Clerk of Courts & Comptroller Stacy Butterfield announced at the Board of County Commissioners meeting on April 20 that the Clerk’s Department of Inspector General (IG) earned re-accreditation by the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation (CFA). 

The CFA approved the accreditation during the Commission’s virtual meeting on Feb. 18. To maintain accreditation, the Inspector General must complete the accreditation process every three years, and must comply with 46 standards and undergo rigorous inspections in order to earn re-accreditation. This is the second re-accreditation the Inspector General has earned since its initial accreditation by the CFA in 2015.

Of the 67 county clerks in Florida, the Polk County Clerk Inspector General was the third to become accredited. A total of five Clerk Inspector General Offices across the State of Florida are currently accredited.

“The Department of Inspector General was established to strengthen public trust in local government by detecting, preventing, and eliminating fraud, waste, and abuse of county government resources and guardianship assets,” Clerk Butterfield said. “The department’s initial accreditation by the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation instilled trust in the integrity of the department. Each subsequent re-accreditation strengthens that trust and assures the community that our office maintains the highest level of credentials. By willingly participating in the intensive re-accreditation process, we are holding ourselves to the highest possible standard.”

Lita McHugh, the Inspector General and Chief Audit Executive, and the Inspector General team, conduct independent, comprehensive audits of county government resources and court-appointed guardianship cases. 

Through its investigative powers, the department also establishes a mechanism for reporting and investigating fraud, waste and abuse of county resources and guardianship assets. 

People can report suspected cases to the fraud hotline at 863-534-7776. Reports can also be made online at www.polkcountyclerk.net or by mail, P.O. Box 9000, Drawer CC-14, Bartow, FL 33831.

“The strength of Polk County relies on a healthy government and trust in our elected officials and county operations,” Clerk Butterfield said. “The Inspector General’s audits and investigations are designed to add value and improve Polk government operations, ultimately increasing the community’s trust and confidence in county government.”

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