Auditor Logo Tom Schweich

Report No. 2011-49
September 2011

Complete Report
Findings in the audit of Ray County

Public Administrator
The Public Administrator's office has significant control deficiencies, including a lack of oversight and inadequate supporting documentation. As a result, the Deputy Public Administrator and a home care worker have been charged with theft and forgery in connection with over $26,000 disbursed from a ward's account without adequate documentation. The Public Administrator did not review the annual settlements of the two wards with the most assets and signed blank checks in advance when he was planning to be out of the office for an extended period of time, which increased the risk funds would be misused.

It appears the Sheriff was living, and storing personal items, in the Sheriff's annex at taxpayer's expense, and the county paid more than $1,800 over 2 years for premium programming satellite television to the annex. The Sheriff also lacks adequate controls and procedures to ensure inmate monies are accounted for properly and does not reconcile a monthly list of liabilities to cash balances.

Financial Condition and Budgets
The General Revenue Fund is in poor financial condition. The county should reduce spending, evaluate controls and practices, maximize revenues, and monitor the budget closely. The county does not approve budgets in a timely manner and expends funds without an approved budget, in violation of state law.

Election Funds
The former County Clerk failed to properly bill amounts owed to the election account and made unallowable transfers and disbursements. He used $16,006 from a school scholarship trust fund to cover election account shortages and failed to transfer all of the monies owed to the Election Five Percent Fund. In addition, the former County Clerk used $1,000 of Election Five Percent Fund monies to host a party for family and election workers on his next to last day in office and used $750 for training expenses unrelated to elections, including $420 for lodging in Kansas City after being told lodging was not necessary because of the proximity of the meeting location to Ray County.

Payroll Procedures
Although our prior audit recommended centralizing compensatory time records, no corrective action was taken and the United States Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division, ordered the county to pay almost $10,000 in back wages to 31 Sheriff's office employees. The county still does not maintain centralized compensatory time records, so it cannot ensure compensatory time use and balances are accurate. Also, not all timesheets list hours worked each day, so the county cannot demonstrate compliance with Fair Labor Standards Act requirements.

Notices, Meetings, and Minutes
The county did not always comply with the Sunshine Law. The county did not post notifications or agendas, open meeting minutes did not always document the reasons for closing the meeting and the vote to do so, and closed meeting minutes were not sufficient to show the issues discussed in closed session were allowable.

Fuel and Vehicle Use
As noted in our prior audit, the road and bridge department does not adequately monitor fuel and vehicle use. The road and bridge department spent approximately $157,000 on fuel during the 2 years ended December 31, 2010, but because the county does not maintain mileage and fuel use logs or fuel inventory records, the county cannot be sure the fuel it purchases or the vehicles it owns are used only for county purposes. The county also does not report the value of personal and commuting mileage to the IRS, as required by law.

Recorder of Deeds
As noted in our prior audit, the Recorder does not timely deposit monies received, thereby increasing the risk of loss, theft or misuse of funds. The Recorder also approved two disbursements related to a time clock at the jail because the county was short of money, but state law only allows Recorder Fee Fund monies to be spent on record storage, microfilming, and preservation.

Property Records and Procedures
As noted in our prior audit, the county is not complying with state law with respect to the management of county property. Departments do not perform periodic inspections of property, submit required inventory reports, or track capital asset purchases and dispositions. Only the County Collector had completed a current inventory report.

Additional Comments
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.

In the areas audited, the overall performance of this entity was Poor.*

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act 2009 (Federal Stimulus)
Ray County 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