Tuesday, June 13, 2017
Galloway on Barton County audit: It's an improvement, but there is still work to be done
Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway has released a regularly scheduled audit of Barton County, located in southwest Missouri. The county received an overall performance rating of fair. This marks an improvement over the county's previous audit, which was issued in 2013 and earned a poor rating.
"While there has been progress since the previous audit, there is still work to be done," Auditor Galloway said. "This report should serve as a guide to help the county continue making improvements in the areas of operations and finances."
The audit raised concerns after the county spent more than it received from the Law Enforcement Sales Tax Fund during three of the past five years, and there was not enough money left in the fund to pay all outstanding bills at the end of the last three years. The sheriff transferred $33,500 from restricted funds to the Law Enforcement Sales Tax Fund to cover the shortfall, but restricted funds can only be spent on specific items. For example, money from the Inmate Security Detainee Fund can only be spent on purchases related to inmate identification and housing. Money from the Sheriff's Revolving Fund can only be spent on purchases related to concealed carry permitting responsibilities. However, the restricted money transferred into the Law Enforcement Sales Tax Fund was not tracked separately to ensure it was spent appropriately.
A similar concern was raised in a prior audit after an $88,000 loan was made from the Special Road and Bridge Fund to the Law Enforcement Sales Tax Fund. Money from the Special Road and Bridge Fund should only be used for road and bridge expenses. The Law Enforcement Sales Tax Fund still owes approximately $53,000 to the Special Road and Bridge Fund from this loan.
The report recommended procedures for better oversight of accounting duties in some county offices. The audit also recommends better practices for keeping track of seized property and for managing property tax payments.
A complete copy of the audit report is available online here.