Maries County receives overall audit rating of “good” from state auditor

Posted 11/3/21

State Auditor Nicole Galloway last week released the results of an audit of Maries County, which gave the county an overall performance rating of “good.” 

Several recommendations …

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Maries County receives overall audit rating of “good” from state auditor

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State Auditor Nicole Galloway last week released the results of an audit of Maries County, which gave the county an overall performance rating of “good.” 

Several recommendations were made. At Monday’s Maries County Commission meeting the commissioners, county clerk and country treasurer were mostly pleased with the results of the audit. 

County Clerk Rhonda Rodgers said the recommendations made that concern her office duties are the same made in previous audits about reviews of the financial activities of the county collector. The auditors recommended the county clerk maintain an account book or other records summarizing property tax charges and other transactions. The clerk and county commission need to implement procedures to review the accuracy and completeness of the collector’s annual settlements. 

Rodgers said she is happy with the overall “good” rating as in the past the rating has been “fair.” She said the auditors want the county clerk to take figures off of the collector’s reports and do an Excel spreadsheet. Rodgers said they can do this but it will not be a review of the collector’s figures because they basically will be taking her figures and moving them to a spreadsheet, which serves no real purpose toward accountability or transparency.

The audit also had recommendations for the sheriff’s office to improve accounting procedures, including preparing complete monthly bank reconciliations and issuing renumbered receipts for payments received. The audit also said the sheriff needs to establish written agreements with surrounding counties and cities for boarding prisoners. The agreements should detail the housing rate, services to be provided, and notification procedures for emergency situations. State law requires contracts for political subdivisions to be in writing. The county collected about $25,000 for the boarding of prisoners in 2020. Sheriff Chris Heitman said he will work toward the auditor’s recommendations.

The audit also recommended the county develop written policies about public access to county records, and ensure the specific section of law allowing a meeting to be closed is announced publicly and recorded in the meeting minutes, and closed meeting discussion are limited to specific reasons cited, in compliance with the Missouri Sunshine Law. The audit also recommends the county commission develop written policies for electronic communications management and retention.   

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