Office of the State Auditor of Missouri
September 26, 2003
The Missouri State Auditor is required by Missouri law to conduct audits only
once every four years in counties, like Harrison County, which do not have a
county auditor. However, to assist such counties in meeting federal audit
requirements, the State Auditor will also provide a financial and compliance
audit of various county operating funds
every two years. This voluntary service to
Missouri counties can only be provided when
state auditing resources are available and it does not interfere with the State
Auditor's constitutional responsibility of auditing state government.
Once every four years, the State Auditor's
statutory audit will cover additional areas of county operations, as well as the
elected county officials, as required by Missouri's Constitution.
This audit of Harrison County included
additional areas of county operations, as well as the elected county officials.
The following concerns were noted as part of the audit:
has not adequately carried out its fiduciary responsibilities related to the
jail building project. A professional appraisal was not obtained prior to
purchasing a construction site for the jail project and no county inspection
has taken place during construction of the jail to ensure compliance with
building codes and building plans and specifications. In addition, an
agreement was negotiated with the financial company prior to beginning the bid
process. During May 2002, the county entered into an agreement to lease
county land to a financial company on which to construct a county jail. A
twenty year lease agreement was simultaneously entered into with the financial
group for the county to lease the jail and make annual lease payments equal to
the amount due to purchase the building at the end of the lease term. The
principal amount of the lease is approximately $1.6 million and will be funded
by the county one-half cent law enforcement sales tax.
did not adequately monitor the selection process of various design and
construction services, such as architectural services and construction
contractor, for the nursing home project. The County Commission responded
that they will become more involved in the nursing home building project.
The Lake Project Fund balance includes sales
tax revenue which is required to be used for obligations incurred in the
construction of the Harrison County
Lake; however, the general obligation bonds have been repaid. The County
indicated they are going to ask the voters to approve the use of the monies
for maintenance of the lake.
The county has not taken action on mid-term
salary increases given to elected officials in 1997. On May 15, 2001 the
Missouri Supreme Court handed down an opinion that challenged the validity of
Section 50.333.13, RSMo, which allowed county salary commissions in 1997 to
provide mid-term salary increases for associate county commissioners. The
Supreme Court held this section of law violated Article VII, Section 13 of the
Missouri Constitution, which specifically prohibits an increase in
compensation for state, county and municipal officers during the term of
office. In the prior audit report, we recommended the county salary
commission reevaluate the decision to give mid-term salary increase to all
officials; however, no action has been taken. The County Commission has now
responded that they will discuss the situation with the Prosecuting Attorney
to determine what action to take.
The County Commission has a history of
significantly overestimating amounts budgeted for the Special Road and Bridge
Fund. During the last six years, actual disbursements have been only 47 to 75
percent of budgeted expenditures. Additionally, administrative service fee
transfers from the Special Road and Bridge Fund to the General Revenue Fund
exceeded three percent of actual disbursements for the two years ended
December 31, 2002 and 2001, by a total of $33,882.
Payments totaling $50,750 for the purchase of
the jail construction site, the building design for the new jail, and repairs
to a sheriff's department vehicle were authorized from the Special Road and
Bridge Fund. As monies credited to the Special Road and Bridge Fund are
restricted for road and bridge purposes, $50,750 is due to the Special Road
and Bridge Fund. The County Commission responded that they have established a
schedule to repay the monies to the Special Road and Bridge Fund in ten years
The schedule of expenditures of federal awards
did not accurately report expenditures of Highway Planning and Construction
funding. In addition, pass-through entity identifying numbers were not
included for most programs.
Improvements are needed over internal controls
in the Sheriff's Office including segregation of duties and perpetual seized
property records. In addition, the Sheriff retained fees of $1,116 for
services performed as trustee. This fee is apparently not allowable pursuant
to an Attorney General's Opinion and, as a result, this amount is due from the
Sheriff to the county.
The audit also
includes some matters related to cash management and revenue maximization,
computer controls, general fixed asset records and procedures, and county
Complete Audit Report
Missouri State Auditor's Office