Recommendations made to improve oversight throughout county. June 15, 2017, Jefferson City, MO (STL.NEWS) Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway has released an audit of Bates County in western Missouri. The audit raised concerns with management of county funds and recommended measures to ensure better accounting practices and oversight.
“My team has conducted a thorough review of Bates County finances and operations, and it is frustrating to once again see concerns identified in past audits,” Auditor Galloway said. “In order to act in the best interest of citizens, county officials should implement corrective actions immediately to properly protect public dollars and resources.”
The audit noted a lack of sufficient inventory records of equipment. In 2016, a trailer, tools and equipment valued at more than $17,000 were stolen from the county. Because the county didn’t have adequate insurance coverage for many of these items, they were only able to recoup $3,000 from the insurance company to replace the trailer. This resulted in a $14,000 loss for the county.
The audit also identified inconsistencies in compensation policies and practices throughout the county. It included recommendations for the sheriff’s office to improve accounting controls, as employees failed to perform bank reconciliations and make timely deposits.
The report also raises concerns with purchases by the prosecuting attorney’s office that did not include adequate documentation or were improperly reimbursed. These included the purchase of gift cards, meals and equipment. The prosecuting attorney did not follow up on restitution checks that were issued, but never cashed, an issue that has been identified in audits since 1997.
Bates County received an overall performance rating of fair. A complete copy of the Bates County audit report is available here.
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Original release at mo.gov