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Auditor Galloway issues audit of the city of Polo in Caldwell County; review was initiated by citizen petition

Audit recommends improvements to accounting controls, cybersecurity, and compliance with the Sunshine Law

11/22/2022 - Jefferson City, Mo.

-- Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway today released her office's audit of the city of Polo, located in Caldwell County in northwest Missouri. City residents requested the audit through the petition process. The audit resulted in a rating of "good."

The audit found that the city has not adequately segregated accounting duties or ensured a documented supervisory or independent review over various financial accounting functions is performed. The City Clerk, who is solely responsible for the accounting duties, indicated she was the only employee in City Hall until May 2022 and the Board had not established procedures to review her work.

The city has also not established adequate user identification and password controls to reduce the risk of unauthorized access to city computers and data. The City Clerk and Assistant City Clerk share a user identification and password for the accounting and utility system, and city officials are not required to change passwords periodically.

Additionally, the city does not store data backup files at an off-site location. Instead, the city maintains backup files in City Hall. Off-site storage would provide reasonable assurance data could be recovered even if city hall files were lost.

Auditors also found that the city's compliance with the Sunshine Law could be improved. The Board did not always comply with Sunshine Law requirements for closed meetings. Open meeting minutes did not document the specific reasons or section of law allowing the meeting to be closed for any of the 6 closed meetings held between January 1, 2020, and July 31, 2022. Additionally, the Board has not adopted a written policy regarding public access to city records as required by state law. A written policy regarding public access to city records would establish guidelines for the city to make records available to the public.

A complete copy of the audit report is available here.