Report No. 2011-19
Findings in the audit of the Village of Bull Creek
The village did not always comply with its procurement policy, including the $3,905 purchase of a utility meter made without due notice inviting bids. Also, the Board of Trustees needs to improve its disbursement approval process, as some disbursements are approved only as estimates with no later review of the actual amount paid and at least one disbursement was made without Board approval.
In addition, the village hall renovations were not handled properly. First, the bids were opened before being given to the Board of Trustees, but the sealed bids should have been opened in public to make sure no bidder has an unfair advantage over the others, as required by village policy. Second, the scope of the work changed during the renovation, but a quorum of the Board of Trustees did not approve the changes. The changes added $1,041 to the cost of the renovation, a 24 percent increase in the original price, but there is no indication that the Board of Trustees considered bidding the changes.
The village is not properly charging expenses to its restricted funds, making it difficult to determine if the right tax rates or user fees are being charged. Also, the village does not have a written contract with its certified water operator, although state law requires contracts for political subdivisions to be in writing.
Since September 2010, the village has been maintaining a log of fuel purchases for the village truck, but the fuel purchased is not compared to the miles driven to make sure fuel purchases are reasonable. Moreover, the log should include the purpose of miles driven to document that the truck is being used only for village business.
Water and Sewer System
The 2009 cost analysis suggested sewer rates should be lowered, but the rates being charged are not the rates from this analysis, and the city could provide no documentation to support the rates charged. Also, the village should compare the amount of monies in the customer utility security deposit bank account to the list of utility customers with security deposits to make sure the balances agree.
The village is not consistently applying its shutoff policy for delinquent water and sewer accounts. Although the village's written guidelines state service will be shutoff when a bill is delinquent over 40 days, Trustee Woodworth's account was not shutoff despite being 3 months delinquent. Customers have less incentive to pay their bills if they can receive the service without paying, and when village officials are allowed to receive service without paying for it, the public's confidence in its government could be damaged.
The village does not adequately segregate accounting duties, which increases the risk of theft or misuse of funds. If proper segregation is not possible, the Board of Trustees should conduct timely supervisory reviews.
The village also needs to improve its procedures for receipts and deposits. Receipts are not always issued for monies received, and the composition of receipts is not always reconciled to the composition of deposits, so errors might not be prevented or detected. In addition, the village should make sure monies collected are deposited promptly and checks and money orders are marked "for deposit only" as soon as they are received.
The village should also establish a separate fund for motor vehicle-related revenues, since state law requires that such revenues be spent only on street-related purposes.
Meetings, Minutes, and Ordinances
The village did not always comply with the Sunshine Law when closing meetings. Open meeting minutes should document the vote to close the meeting and the reason for closing it. Minutes of the closed meeting were not taken and kept, and it appears closed meetings were not limited to the topics allowed by law. The village's ordinances are not up-to-date and well-maintained, and it is difficult to determine whether ordinances have been formally approved and are still in effect.
Budgeting and Financial Reporting
The village is not meeting state law requirements for budgets and financial statements. Budgets are missing required content, and semi-annual financial statements are not posted or published and lack sufficient detail.
In the areas audited, the overall performance of this entity was Fair.*
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act 2009 (Federal Stimulus)
The Village of Bull Creek did not receive any federal stimulus monies during the audited time period.
*The rating(s) cover only audited areas and do not reflect an opinion on the overall operation of the entity. Within that context, the rating scale indicates the following:
The audit results indicate this entity is very well managed. The report contains no findings. In addition, if applicable, prior recommendations have been implemented.
The audit results indicate this entity is well managed. The report contains few findings, and the entity has indicated most or all recommendations have already been, or will be, implemented. In addition, if applicable, many of the prior recommendations have been implemented.
The audit results indicate this entity needs to improve operations in several areas. The report contains several findings, or one or more findings that require management's immediate attention, and/or the entity has indicated several recommendations will not be implemented. In addition, if applicable, several prior recommendations have not been implemented.
The audit results indicate this entity needs to significantly improve operations. The report contains numerous findings that require management's immediate attention, and/or the entity has indicated most recommendations will not be implemented. In addition, if applicable, most prior recommendations have not been implemented.
Complete Audit Report
Missouri State Auditor's Office