Audit receives poor rating, make recommendations to improve board operations in the city of Amoret from the Missouri State Auditor, Galloway
JEFFERSON CITY, MO/October 27, 2017 (STL.News) Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway has released a citizen-requested audit for the City of Amoret, located in Bates County. The report identifies multiple critical areas within city government that lack proper oversight. This, along with lack of financial transparency, resulted in an overall rating of poor.
“Citizens rely on their city government to operate efficiently and effectively and to provide critical services that range from utility services to street maintenance,” Auditor Galloway said. ” In Amoret, there are a wide range of concerns with the city’s procedures that need to be addressed so that residents can be sure elected officials are managing dollars in taxpayers’ best interests.”
An alderwoman may not be qualified to serve on the board due to questions about her residency and the mayor may not have been qualified to file as a candidate due to delinquent city taxes. The report recommends that the city establish procedures to provide information regarding individuals potentially unqualified to run for or hold elected office to the appropriate authority.
The report also found the city lacks procedures to monitor or disconnect delinquent utility accounts of city officials, employees and family members. In one instance, the city meter reader did not reflect a past due balance on her own account, but then paid approximately six months’ worth of accrued balances. In another case, the mayor and his son’s utility accounts were delinquent for several months, but did not incur penalties or get disconnected. The audit also found a conflict of interest exists because a member of the board of aldermen is paid by the city to serve as city meter reader.
The audit also details poor accounting practices throughout city government. In one case, restricted income was routed to an unrestricted fund, and refundable utility deposit money was not tracked appropriately. A significant lack of financial oversight in Amoret led to $158 in bank overdraft charges. Additionally, the City Treasurer had not been reconciling any of the city’s various accounts. The city has failed to appropriately document payments, transfers and formal reviews.
The audit also found the city’s ordinances are incomplete and need to be better organized, procedures related to public access to records and record requests need improvement, and the city needs to improve budgetary practices and ensure laws regarding financial reporting are followed.
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About Auditor Nichole Galloway – Missouri State Auditor
Auditor Nicole Galloway, CPA, is the 38th auditor of the State of Missouri. She is a certified public accountant and certified fraud examiner. Prior to becoming State Auditor, Galloway served as Treasurer of Boone County, and has worked in the private sector as a corporate auditor, accountant and actuarial analyst. She has a Master of Business Administration from the University of Missouri and degrees in Applied Mathematics and Economics from Missouri University of Science and Technology.