Audit of Howell County, Missouri, finds inappropriate commissions collected in County Collector’s office

Report finds concerns with some accounting procedures, makes recommendations for improvements

JEFFERSON CITY, MO (STL.News) – Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway today released an audit of Howell County, located in southern Missouri.  The audit found concerns with financial practices in several areas of county government, including the offices of the county collector and sheriff.  The report received an overall rating of good.

The report recommended improvements to the accounting practices of the sheriff’s office to ensure better oversight of inmate money and commissary funds.  Two of the five findings in this office were previously identified in past audit reports.

State law requires the county collector to collect county surtax and railroad and utility taxes from municipalities and other political subdivisions and collect a 1% commission to be deposited in the county’s General Revenue Fund.  The audit found the county collector, through written agreements, withheld and personally retained an additional 3% commission on surtax and railroad and utilities taxes collected for certain cities.  This additional commission is not permitted under state law.

The audit also made recommendations to improve cybersecurity practices in the offices of several county officials and ensure county personnel policies adequately address employees earning compensatory time.

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