Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

Local News

July 2, 2014

New fiscal court audit results in similar findings

GLASGOW — Some of the same issues from the previous year appeared to be repeated during a state auditor review of Barren County Fiscal Court’s financial reports for fiscal year 2013.

According to a press release issued by Auditor Adam Edelen’s office, there were three problem areas addressed: the fiscal court should either deal directly with the state price contract vendor or advertise for bid on purchases that exceeded $20,000 in accordance with KRS 424.260; purchase orders should be prepared and approved prior to purchase; and the jailer lacked adequate segregation of duties over receipts and disbursements.

In 2013, the fiscal court bought a vehicle from a local dealership without advertising for bids.

The auditor recommended the fiscal court deal directly with state price contract vendors or advertise for bids in accordance with KRS 424.260 if the fiscal court chooses not to adopt the model  procurement code.  

Barren County Judge-Executive Davie Greer’s quoted response was, “Understanding from local Ford dealership was that they could provide state price and allow county to be compliant. We know better now.  Will not do this in future.”

Auditors also noticed a majority of purchase orders were prepared after the actual purchase date, and that, “purchases shall not be made prior to approval by the county judge/executive (or designee) or department head.”

The audit recommendation was that a purchase order be prepared and approved prior to purchases being made.

Greer’s quoted response was, “Will address and try to do better.”

The audit also mentioned that the jailer’s bookkeeper for the canteen fund made deposits, signed checks, made entries into the accounting system and performed some of the bank reconciliations.

“Dual signatures were not required on checks and the jailer stated he did no review the bookkeeper’s work unless he became aware of a problem,” the release read.

The release said one person performing all these duties increases the chances for mistakes being made, and not found, and it was recommended that the jailer segregate duties, or implement compensating controls to reduce risks.

Barren County Jailer Matt Mutter’s quoted response was, “The Jailer now requires dual signatures on all checks.  Compensating controls have been implemented and will be documented to the best of our capability with the number of staff we have employed.”

Last year, the 2012 audit also found problems with the fiscal court purchasing vehicles without advertising bids, as well as the jailer’s segregation of duties.

A representative of Edelen’s office, Stephanie Hoelscher said if there are the same problems and responses on the audits, then that means the government officials made the same mistakes, or did not correct their previous actions.

Hoelscher explained the process for all county audits in the state are the same.

“When we finish, we give the government officials an opportunity to review their findings and respond and sometimes their responses clarify the issues, and we have no problems,” she said. “They receive the document and have 10 days to respond.”

Sometimes if the same issues occur, it’s not uncommon for officials to provide Edelen’s office with the same responses as the previous year, which is the case with Barren County’s audit.

Greer told the Daily Times on Wednesday the audits aren’t that big of a deal.

“As long as nobody is stealing any money and we aren’t bankrupt, we’re fine and they’re just letting us know what they have issues with,” she said.

Mutter was unable to be reached for comment.

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