Office of the State Auditor of Missouri
Report No. 2004-77
September 28, 2004
IMPORTANT: The Missouri State Auditor is required by state law to conduct audits once every 4 years in counties, like Chariton, that do not have a county auditor. In addition to a financial and compliance audit of various county operating funds, the State Auditor's statutory audit covers additional areas of county operations, as well as the elected county officials, as required by Missouri's Constitution.
This audit of Chariton County included additional areas of county operations, as well as the elected county officials. The following concerns were noted as part of the audit:
� The county incurred engineering costs of $54,352 for federal bridge projects during the two years ended December 31, 2003. The county used one engineering firm for the various projects and did not solicit proposals from other firms as required by state law.
The County Commission sometimes approves expenditures without reviewing detailed supporting documentation and ensuring goods or services have been received. Some expenditures related to meetings or training conferences (totaling approximately $1,560) lacked sufficient supporting documentation.
In 1999, mid-term raises, of approximately $9,684, were given to the Associate Commissioners. 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. The county has not documented its review of the Supreme Court decision.
The Public Administrator's salary was set at 90 percent of the salary provided by state law to correspond with the percentage of the maximum salaries paid to other officials. There was no legal documentation supporting whether the public administrator should receive the minimum salary provided by state law or a percentage of the minimum. Since going on salary in 2001, the Public Administrator has not provided time and mileage records for the court's approval and no fees have been assessed to cases and transmitted to the county treasury. As a result, the county which pays the Public Administrator's salary, is not recouping any of the salary costs.
The county's personnel policies manual has not been updated since 1989. Some policies are not being followed and additional guidelines are needed for some county procedures.
While the county has developed general fixed asset procedures, these procedures have not been fully implemented, required tasks are not always performed, and the fixed asset record is incomplete.
The County Clerk does not ensure the township road boards' financial statements are prepared and published as required by state law.
Formal procedures have not been established by the circuit court to ensure all accrued costs (court costs, incarceration costs, court-ordered restitution, and fines) are adequately identified and pursued. Weaknesses were noted with the communication and overall recordkeeping procedures.
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