Office of the State Auditor of Missouri
January 22, 2004
Report No. 2004-06
IMPORTANT:� The Missouri State Auditor is required by Missouri law to conduct audits only once every four years in counties, like Ray, 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.
audit of Ray County included additional areas of county operations, as well as
the elected county officials.� The
following concerns were noted as part of the audit:
A state law, Section 50.333.13, RSMo, enacted in 1997, allowed salary commissions meeting in 1997 to provide mid-term salary increases for associate County commissioners elected in 1996.
On May 15, 2001, the Missouri Supreme Court handed down an opinion that holds that all raises given pursuant to this statute section are unconstitutional.� As noted in our prior report, the 1997 salary commission voted to give elected officials a salary increase mid-term.� The County Commission indicated they would ask the county�s legal counsel to review this matter and discuss it at the 2001 salary commission meeting.� However, a salary commission meeting was not held in 2001 and while the County Commission has adopted a resolution not requiring repayment of these raises, this action was not supported by a written legal opinion.
House Bill 2137, effective August 28, 2002, provided for an increase in the compensation paid to the county treasurer.� It established an alternative, higher salary schedule and stated the salary commission may authorize the use of the alternative salary schedule.� As a result, without a documented legal opinion, it is unclear whether the salary increase provided to the County Treasurer is in accordance with state law.
The audit also suggested improvements to procedures for county vehicles, property tax controls, and Planning and Zoning.� In addition, the audit included recommendations to the County Treasurer, Senate Bill 40 Board, County Clerk, Circuit Clerk, Sheriff, Assessor, and Juvenile Office.
Complete Audit Report