Springfield, MO

Log in Subscribe

Margaret Kelly ...Auditor issues report on Taney County finances

Posted online

State auditor Margaret Kelly has completed an audit of Taney County for the two years ended Dec. 31, 1997. Kelly released the findings Oct. 6.

An audit of a county typically includes financial information about the county and recommendations for improvements in county government operations, according to a release from Kelly's office.

Some of the information included in the audit was that Taney County received more than $7.6 million in 1997 to support the county General Revenue and Special Road and Bridge funds. Of that money, 58 percent came from sales taxes, 23 percent from fees, interest and other monies, and 19 percent from federal and state aid.

During 1997, the county also spent more than $6.8 million from the General Revenue and Special Road and Bridge funds. Of that total, 51 percent was spent on general county government, 29 percent on law enforcement and public safety, and 20 percent on highways and roads, the release stated.

The county also received more than $4.6 million in the Road and Bridge Trust Fund and spent more than $3.5 million for highways and roads during 1997, the release said. At the end of 1997, the county had a cash balance of $2,389,782 in the General Revenue Fund and a $2,177,416 cash balance in the Special Road and Bridge Fund.

A change order of approximately $386,000 was approved by the county for additional work on a sewer project without soliciting bids or proposals for the additional work. The county purchased real estate for $400,000 without obtaining an appraisal to ensure the purchase price was reasonable, the release said.

Legal fees have increased substantially during the audit period and the county should consider hiring a salaried attorney, the release stated.

The county spent $8,700 on informational brochures for an election issue "which may be a questionable expenditure," according to the release. The country contributed to a not-for-profit organization without obtaining a written agreement, and the county does not review the expenditures from the sheriff's transportation account, the release said.

The county's current budgeting procedures do not provide an adequate tool for monitoring results, the release said, citing the county's budget sheets, which overstated projected expenditures resulting in inaccurate projections of ending cash balances. Actual cash balances were higher than those projected. The published financial statements do not include some funds.

In addition to those findings, the state auditor's office also found that usage logs are not maintained for some vehicles and the county does not have a written policy prohibiting personal use of county vehicles. The sheriff's office did not maintain copies of reimbursement claim forms for the federal cooperative cannabis agreement.

A sheriff's deputy did not receive some training required by the Police Traffic Services Grant and fringe benefits were under-reported on the Title IV-D child support reimbursement claims, resulting in lost revenue for the county, the release said.

The method of payment received is not recorded on receipt slips issued at the transfer station, and the transfer station's computer system does not have a password system, the release said.

A listing of accrued costs due to the circuit court is not prepared, the auditor's office found. The circuit clerk's accumulated interest balance has increased substantially, and any excessive amounts should be turned over to the county. Custody of the Recorder User Fee Fund has increased substantially, and budgets were not always prepared for this fund.

Other findings by the auditor include that receipt slips are not always issued immediately by the associate division, and checks and money orders are not always restrictively endorsed immediately upon receipt. The county's computer system does not have an adequate password system.

Bad check case files did not always contain documentation of the prosecuting attorney's authorization to waive the administrative fee. The computer system allows changes to be made to bad check case files without any documentation of the changes. Follow-up procedures on unpaid bad checks need to be improved, the release said.

Copies of voided receipt slips should be retained and money orders should be restrictively endorsed immediately upon receipt. An old bank account is being held by the prosecuting attorney which should be disposed of, and the custody of the bad check fund should be turned over to the county treasurer.

The audit also found that $1,656 was misappropriated by a former deputy sheriff during the two years ended Dec. 31, 1997. The Developmentally Disabled Board's budgets overstated projected expenditures resulting in ending cash balances that were significantly higher than projected. Collateral securities to cover the board's deposits should be pledged in the board's name, the release stated.

County officials responded to some of the audit's findings. The county commission said it believed the amount paid for the change order was reasonable, and that a fair price was negotiated for the property purchased. The commission said it believed that the brochures used were appropriate.

The prosecuting attorney said that the overall system has been improved by the addition of a bad check software program. County officials also indicated that they have implemented or will implement all of the auditor's suggestions, the release said.

Full copies of the audit, No. 98-89, are available through the auditor's office. Write to PO Box 869, Jefferson City 65102 or call 573-751-4213.

[[In-content Ad]]


No comments on this story |
Please log in to add your comment
Editors' Pick
Open for Business: Rebar Kitchen & Taproom

A pair of food industry veterans teamed up to open Rebar Kitchen & Taproom; May 2 marked the grand opening for the new headquarters of 27North Inc.; and the first brick-and-mortar shop for Springfield Trading Co. launched.

Most Read
Update cookies preferences