The Reporter covers Miller, Morgan and Camden County in Central Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks and is published once per week on Wednesdays.

 

Published January 23, 2019

Auditor finds concerns in Miller County
 

JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway today released a regularly-scheduled audit of Miller County, which received an overall rating of “fair”.


The audit found the county continues to struggle to avoid a deficit in the jail and 911 funds and needs to better track the use of capital improvement sales tax dollars transferred to these funds.


“The county continues to struggle to fund 911 communications and the jail, both critical functions of county government,” Auditor Galloway said. “More work needs to be done to ensure these programs are managed as efficiently as possible. When the county must transfer funds to support these essential services, that action must be done in a way that taxpayers know their dollars are spent in accordance with the law.”


At the end of 2017, both the 911 Emergency Fund and Jail Fund had balances of $1. In order to avoid a deficit in these funds, county officials transferred more than $1 million from the Capital Improvement Fund to the 911 and jail funds that year.


Miller County voters approved a one half-cent capital improvement sales tax for funding capital improvements to county-owned buildings and paying costs of maintenance and utilization of those buildings.


The audit found the county did not track the transfers made from the Capital Improvement Fund to ensure the funding was only spent for these restricted purposes. The audit also found the need for increased financial oversight in the county collector’s office.


The collector has not filed annual settlements for the last four fiscal years, as required by state law and did not prepare bank reconciliations during the audit period.
The report also recommended the county collector work with the county commission to better limit access to the property tax system to reduce the risk of information being inappropriately altered or deleted.


A summary of the finds in the report are:
• The financial condition of the 911 Emergency and Jail Funds remains poor. The amount of restricted Capital Improvement Fund monies used to support the 911 Emergency and Jail Funds is significant. As a result, the Capital Improvement Fund may not have the monies needed to pay off outstanding debt.

• Some capital improvement sales tax revenue may have been spent for purposes not allowable under state law.

• The county did not track transfers to the 911 Emergency or Jail Funds to ensure the funding was spent in accordance with state law.

• The County Collector did not prepare bank reconciliations during the year ended February 28, 2018. Also, the County Collector did not prepare a monthly list of liabilities for the bank accounts with liabilities.

• The County Collector is consistently not filing an annual settlement, one of his main responsibilities, which also violates state law.

• The County Clerk did not prepare the land and personal tax, back tax, or railroad and utility aggregate abstracts for 2014, 2015, 2016, or 2017.

• The county has not adequately restricted property tax system access.

• The Sheriff has not adequately segregated accounting duties and does not ensure supervisory reviews of detailed accounting and bank records are performed. Controls and procedures over receipting and depositing need improvement.

• The Sheriff does not disburse fees monthly to the County Treasurer as required by state law.

• The Sheriff's office does not prepare a monthly list of liabilities of inmate balances for the two commissary accounts, and consequently, liabilities are not reconciled to the commissary’s available cash balances and commissary net proceeds are not turned over to the county as required by state law.

• The Sheriff has not performed a physical inventory of seized property since 2015.

• The Senate Bill 40 Board did not advertise or obtain bids for the remodeling of the group home kitchen costing approximately $7,300. The SB40 Board awards gifts to employees in violation of the Missouri Constitution.

• The County Commission did not always comply with the Sunshine Law.

• The Prosecuting Attorney's bank account had $5,346 of unidentified monies at December 31, 2017. The Prosecuting Attorney has not established procedures to routinely follow up on outstanding checks.


The full report can be downloaded from the State Auditor’s website at www.auditor.mo.gov under “Reports”.

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