Carroll County does a good job of managing taxpayer dollars, a new state audit released Friday morning said.  Issues were found in three of the fourteen offices.  According to the audit, the public administrator’s office does not timely file complete and accurate annual settlements, the sheriff’s department does not maintain a book balance – meaning errors in the account would essentially go undetected – and both the sheriff’s office and the county treasury were docked for appropriating fees from a partition sale into the wrong account.  Click to hear KMZU’s Chelsea Wade talk with Presiding Commissioner Nelson Heil:

Nelson Heil

Information from the Office of Auditor Tom Schweich

State Auditor Tom Schweich released the audit of Carroll County today. State law requires the auditor to audit all counties that do not elect a county auditor. In the areas audited, the overall performance of this entity was Good.

The county collector-treasurer had administrative access rights in the property tax system which allowed her to potentially make changes to individual tax records. Since the collector-treasurer also collects tax monies, good internal controls dictate she not be able to alter or delete tax rates, assessed values, and property tax billings. After auditors brought it to the attention of the county commission, the commission had the programmer change the collector-treasurer’s access rights.

The public administrator did not timely file complete and accurate annual settlements and did not always prepare monthly bank reconciliations for ward accounts. The former public administrator still had possession of five decedent cases as of March 2012, even though the current public administrator took office in January 2009.

The sheriff’s department does not maintain a book balance for its bank account, so monthly bank balances cannot be reconciled to the book balance to detect errors. In addition, the fee bank account should zero out each month, but on Dec. 31, 2011, the account had an unidentified balance of $5,522. Sheriff commission fees of $5,015 from a partition sale were turned over to the county treasury but were deposited into the sheriff’s special fund rather than the county general revenue fund. Similarly, commissions totaling $135 from a foreclosure sale were personally retained by the sheriff and not remitted to the county treasurer.

The road and bridge department does not maintain a fuel log for its bulk fuel tank, record mileage when fueling trucks, or review and reconcile fuel use to fuel purchases, so theft and misuse of fuel could go undetected.

Because counties are managed by several separately-elected individuals, an audit finding made with respect to one office does not necessarily apply to the operations in another office. The overall rating assigned to the county is intended to reflect the performance of the county as a whole. It does not indicate the performance of any one elected official or county office.

To view the complete report, Citizens Summary and audit rating scale, visit:

http://auditor.mo.gov/view.aspx?id=201241