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Auditor Fitzpatrick releases audit of Ozark County that identifies concerns with controls and procedures in several county offices

The report issues an overall rating of "fair" and makes recommendations for improvements

11/21/2023 - Jefferson City, MO

A new report released today by State Auditor Scott Fitzpatrick identifies concerns in several county offices in Ozark County and gives the county an overall rating of "fair." The audit found some recurring issues, as well as several new concerns, since the last report issued for the county in 2019, which also gave a rating of "fair."

"There continue to be numerous areas where officials in Ozark County can make significant improvements that will allow them to better manage taxpayer money and resources," said Auditor Fitzpatrick. "I urge county officials to implement our recommendations and to take the necessary steps to make county government more efficient, accountable, and transparent for the citizens of Ozark County."

The audit identified concerns with controls and procedures in the office of the Sheriff, including a lack of adequate segregation of accounting duties and a failure to perform adequate supervisory reviews of detailed accounting and bank records. The report also found the Sheriff's office has not established proper controls and procedures over seized property. A sampling of the previous evidence system log failed to locate four out of eight items, including three guns and one drug evidence item.

The report also identified concerns with controls and procedures with the county's Recycling Center and the county's property tax system, and found that the former Ex Officio Recorder of Deeds did not perform adequate and timely bank reconciliations and did not prepare a monthly list of liabilities. Additionally, neither the County Commission nor the County Clerk submitted proof of publication of the county's financial statements for 2021 and 2022 to the State Auditor as required by state law.

Also highlighted in the report are concerns with the County Commission approving a mid-term salary increase for the Sheriff, which violates constitutional provisions, as well as a lack of a written policy regarding public access to county records, and inadequate protections for county records because of insufficient controls over county computers.

The previous audit of Ozark County completed in 2019 is available here.  A complete copy of the current audit is available here.