July 24, 2014 - 12:57
     
Audit committee looks over findings
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Committee members are charged with doing an independent review and making recommendations to the County Commission. This was the first meeting of the committee.

Polk County’s Audit Committee met June 30th to review audit findings in the county’s budget. Committee members are charged with doing an independent review and making recommendations to the County Commission. This was the first meeting of the committee.

Joe Water was elected Chairman of the Committee, with Greg Barker serving as Vice-Chair. John Pippenger serves as Secretary.

A recurring finding in the county budget is that the Road Department operates under their own budget. The state recommends it be included in the county general budget. Pippenger said the county has been set up as it is because money from fuel taxes pays for the road department and its money needs to stay there. He said it would require another employees in the County Executive’s Office to do budgeting, purchasing, and payroll for the Road Department. He said it would increase the workload in that office by about 30%.

Budget Director Kelley Morgan said it was her understanding that if the County Executive’s Office oversaw the Road Department’s budget they could continue to operate as they are.  She said Gary Hayes with CTAS had discussed it with her several months ago, and he seemed to think it was possible to keep the two separate while still operating under the county’s oversight.

Barker said in order to find out exactly what the state wants they needed to go to the comptroller. He said CTAS would just be giving their opinion and would not have the definitive answers the comptroller would have.

An audit finding on the school budget showed appropriations had been exceeded, but committee members were unsure what had been exceeded. Morgan said she had nothing to do with the school budget and no way to know. Pippenger said the county didn’t get anything in regards to the school budget, but were required to approve budget amendments. Kenneth Cloud said it seemed like it should be common courtest for the school system to keep the county updated.

Several county offices were cited for not segregating duties and for operating in the same cash drawer. Barker asked why employees couldn’t balance the drawer out before the next employee took over. Waters said everyone at the bank had their own cash drawer and each was responsible for it. Mike Curbow said he thought in most county office different people took in money and it all went into the same cash drawer.  Waters suggested the issue could be solved with everyone having their own drawer.

Morgan said her office was cited for segregation of duties, but that she and Karen each had separate duties and neither could see what the other did. Pippenger said in the County Clerk’s office, for example, all the employees were cross-trained from everything from boat registration to taking pictures for driver’s licenses. He said in order to have duties segregated, it would require hiring more people.

Committee members asked Morgan to contact the comptroller to answer the questions they were unsure about before they met again so they could make their recommendations based on what the state wanted.

Barker said the audit was not a horrible audit. Morgan said it was a good audit. She said they had a bad audit several years ago, but had fixed issues and the audits got better each year.


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