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Auditor Galloway issues follow-up report on Homestead Village in Ray County to measure city's progress after audit gave rating of "poor"

Citizen-requested audit uncovered thousands in missing sewer payments, made recommendations to Board of Aldermen

07/18/2022 - Jefferson City, Mo.

State Auditor Nicole Galloway today released a follow-up review of progress made by the City of Homestead Village to implement the recommendations of an audit from December that gave a rating of "poor," the lowest possible. The audit, initiated by a citizen petition, found more than $4,300 in customer sewer payments were recorded as received but not deposited by the former city clerk over a three-year period.

Of the 11 recommendations reviewed, the follow-up report found that city officials had implemented three, partially implemented six, and were in progress to implement the other two.

"I encourage city officials to continue their work to fully implement the recommendations of my audit," Auditor Galloway said. "Making progress on those could go a long way to restoring the trust of this community's residents."

The follow-up report found that current city clerk is issuing receipt slips for all monies received, is performing bank reconciliations for all bank accounts, and is maintaining and ensuring book balances are accurate. The Board of Aldermen also is reviewing and documenting approval of all disbursements and the Mayor is signing off on supporting documentation to document his review. The Board also has taken steps to ensure compliance with the Sunshine Law.

The recommendations found to be in progress include the Board of Aldermen working with law enforcement officials regarding the prosecution of the missing money, and the Board working on a draft of an updated sewer ordinance to address partial payments and written pay agreements.

Recommendations that have been partially implemented include the segregation of accounting duties and review and monitoring procedures; better controls over receipting, recording, and depositing functions; procedures for assessing late penalties for sewer system payments and performing service shut offs; ensuring delinquent balances are complete, mathematically accurate, and reviewed by an independent person; the preparation of annual budgets for all funds that contain all information required by state law; and better controls over written contracts for services and over classification of city employees to ensure compliance with state and federal laws and regulations.

A complete copy of the follow-up report is available here.