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Auditor Logo Tom Schweich

Report No. 2011-117
December 2011

Complete Report
Findings in the audit of Ozark County


County Disbursements
The Presiding Commissioner signed a lease agreement between the county and a not-for-profit organization for which he served as President. The County Commission meeting minutes do not reflect the discussion or vote to approve the lease, and it is not clear how the county established the lease rate ($300 per month) or why it did not advertise the property for lease or solicit competitive bids. The county did not solicit bids, retain sufficient bid documentation, including sole source justifications, or advertise for various items or services as required by state law. The Sheriff did not solicit bids, as was required, to purchase a patrol sports utility vehicle (SUV) and related equipment costing $47,371 with federal monies, and six months later purchased two similar, but newer, SUVs for $28,275 each. The county did not maintain fuel logs for eight of its ten road and bridge bulk fuel tanks, six of which are located at employee residences, the Sheriff's department did not always maintain mileage information on its vehicles, and the Assessor's office did not track who drove its vehicles and the purpose of the trip. Finally, the county did not have adequate documentation to support two disbursements of Community Development Block Grant monies.

County Sales Tax
The county did not sufficiently reduce the General Revenue property tax levy for sales tax receipts and has accumulated approximately $50,000 in excess property tax revenue. The County Commission needs to reduce the General Revenue property tax levy to compensate for this excess. In addition, the county did not accurately report property tax reduction amounts to the State Auditor's office resulting in a reduction in the county's property tax rate ceiling. After identifying the reporting errors made by the county, the State Auditor's office made the necessary corrections to reinstate the county's tax rate ceiling.

Sheriff's Controls and Procedures
The Sheriff's department needs to improve its receipting and depositing procedures. Receipts collected at the Sheriff's department front window are not adequately safeguarded, and the composition of receipts is not always documented or reconciled to bank deposits. Deposits are not always made intact or timely, and the change fund for phone card sales is not maintained at a constant amount. The Sheriff's department used Sheriff's Revolving Fund monies to purchase surveillance and recording equipment, but state law restricts these funds to expenditures associated with concealed carry endorsements or renewals. The Sheriff's department collects a $10 bond processing fee, but state law no longer authorizes collecting such a fee (and previously only authorized a $5 fee).

Prosecuting Attorney Controls and Procedures
As noted in our prior audit report, the Prosecuting Attorney's office lacks adequate controls and procedures for receipting, depositing, and processing bad checks. The Prosecuting Attorney's office does not issue receipt slips for monies received, does not immediately restrictively endorse money orders, and does not maintain a centralized record of all monies collected, making it more difficult to ensure all monies are transmitted to the County Treasurer. Bad check complaint forms should be sequentially numbered as they are received, and a log should be maintained to track the disposition of each complaint.

Budgets
As noted in our prior audit report, the County Commission needs to improve its budgeting procedures. The County Commission does not regularly review budget to actual statements, and actual disbursements were more than budgeted disbursements for some funds. Some budgets were not prepared until after the monies had already been spent, and no documentation was available to show that the County Commission had approved some budget amendments.

Sheriff Compensatory Leave
Sheriff's department employees accrued more compensatory time than allowed by county policy resulting in higher Sheriff's department payroll costs. Employees accrued compensatory time for time worked over 40 hours in one week, but federal law, and county policy, only require compensatory time be accrued for law enforcement for hours worked in excess of 171 hours in a 28 day period. The Sheriff's department does not submit its leave records to the County Clerk's office, making it difficult for the County Commission to ensure compensatory time is managed in compliance with law and policy.

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

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act 2009 (Federal Stimulus)
During the two years ended December 31, 2010, the county was awarded a $127,850 Bureau of Justice Assistance Recovery Act: Assistance to Rural Law Enforcement to Combat Crime and Drugs Grant for personnel and fringe benefits, travel expenses, and a vehicle and vehicle equipment for a drug task force officer. As of June 30, 2011, the county had expended $96,983, and an additional $30,867 remained to be spent before October 2011. The Sheriff noted that, without additional funding, the position created by this grant may be eliminated.

*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:

Excellent:
The audit results indicate this entity is very well managed. The report contains no findings. In addition, if applicable, prior recommendations have been implemented.

Good:
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.

Fair:
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.

Poor:
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
moaudit@auditor.mo.gov