Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway last week issued an audit of Texas County that identified several areas of concern and provided recommendations to county officials to address those them.
The review gave a rating of “fair,” an improvement over the “poor” rating given five years ago.
“Audits help local governments serve their constituents more efficiently and effectively,” Galloway said. “I’m encouraged that officials in Texas County indicated in their responses to the audit that they have or will move forward on many of our recommendations.”
Here are the findings from Galloway:
•The audit found controls and procedures need improvement in the sheriff’s department, which collected approximately $239,000 in fees in 2021. The sheriff has not entered into written agreements with other counties or cities to provide for the boarding of prisoners, detailing the housing rate to be paid. Proper controls and procedures also are not in place to ensure all costs for boarding non-state prisoners are adequately billed upon release and pursued.
•The sheriff’s office also does not regularly disburse commissary net proceeds to the county collector-treasurer for deposit into the Inmate Prisoner Detainee Security Fund as required by state law, nor prepare a monthly list of liabilities for the commissary account or have adequate procedures to ensure an inmate’s remaining account balance is refunded upon release. Auditors also found deposits were not always made in a timely matter, and that the office did not charge or collect sales tax on e-cigarettes sold to inmates, and no sales tax was remitted to the Missouri Department of Revenue.
•The county collector-treasurer was found to have used incorrect percentages to calculate some commissions for the year ended Feb. 28, 2022, resulting in the county collecting $72,781 more than allowed by law in December 2021. The county receives a fee for collection. Those funds will be refunded to the entities, and the incorrect percentage had been entered by a previous officeholder. The audit also found the county has not adequately restricted access by the county collector-treasurer and her office personnel to the property tax system or to the county payroll system.county-audit-issued-in-2022
•The county clerk does not maintain an account book or other records summarizing property tax charges, transactions and changes. The audit also found the county clerk does not prepare or verify the accuracy of the current or delinquent tax books. The county clerk indicated she is working with the county collector-treasurer to develop an account book and to produce tax books in the future.
•The audit also recommended better controls and procedures in the office of the public administrator, which was responsible for the financial activity of 45 wards and estates as of the end of 2021. The public administrator does not always file annual settlements timely, and the former public administrator did not turn over all applicable accounts to the current public administrator when her term expired.
•The audit also found the previous county clerk did not pay credit cards timely, resulting in late fees, and did not maintain adequate documentation to support some expenditures and liquor license receipts. The prosecuting attorney maintains an inactive bad check bank account, and the office also does not generate or prepare monthly lists of unpaid bad checks or a report of unpaid court-ordered restitution, including court-ordered restitution for bad checks.
A complete copy of the 18-page audit is available online at: https://auditor.mo.gov/AuditReport/ViewReport?report=2022125&token=2615053327 or with this story at houstonherald.com.