Benton, KY

News

County’s audit turns up numerous problems

Tuesday, November 29, 2016 - Updated: 2:42 PM

By Venita Fritz

Tribune-Courier 

General Manager

vfritz@tribunecourier.com

 

  The state’s most recent audit of the Marshall County Fiscal Court turned up several items that are not in compliance with laws and regulations.  In all, State Auditor Mike Harmon cited eight matters that require correction by the county’s governing body.

  The state annually conducts an audit of the financial statement of the Fiscal Court.  The audit released last week covers the fiscal year, which ended on June 30, 2015.

  Items mentioned in the auditor’s report include:

  •Internal control deficiencies over cash resulted in an unauthorized cash transfer.  

  The report said the problem resulted in an unauthorized $500,000 transfer, which was not approved by the fiscal court.

  Marshall County Judge Executive Kevin Neal responded within the report that the transfer was made from the Occupational Tax Administrator Fund to the Road Fund prior to Fiscal Court approval.  

  •Weak internal controls over capital assets resulted in the omission of capital asset additions from the county’s schedule of capital assets.  The audit suggests the county create a detailed asset inventory system.

  Neal said he recognized the weakness in the internal controls and would be taking recommendations into consideration to strengthen the county’s capital assets schedule.

  •The Marshall County Fiscal Court failed to report all receipts and disbursements associated with county activities.  

  Specifically mentioned in the audit were activities associated with E-911, the Office of Emergency Management, the Marshall County Animal Shelter and Geographical Information Systems.  

  The audit cautioned, “having ‘off the books’ accounts without fiscal oversight  leaves these funds susceptible to misappropriation.”

  Neal replied to the audit saying 911, GIS and Emergency Management accounts have been closed and that the county will operate the Animal Shelter account with greater controls.

  •The Marshall County Fiscal Court has internal control weaknesses and non-compliance surrounding payroll.  

  As a result of this issue, the audit says numerous employees were not paid in accordance with the salary order approved by the fiscal court.  Timesheets were not properly maintained and signed by supervisors.  Further, raises awarded to jail employees were not documented in the minutes of fiscal court meetings.

  Neal noted that software is being purchased to handle time and attendance of county employees, which will eliminate non-compliance with timekeeping.

  •Decentralized receipts were not properly turned over to the County Treasurer.

  Specifically noted in the audit were fees from the Detention Center and the Animal Shelter that were turned over to the treasurer only once a week.

  Neal said improvements would be made to ensure timely processing of receipts.

  Two of the items mentioned in the audit were specific to the Marshall County Detention Center.  Jailer Roger Ford did not offer a reply to the issues in the audit.  

•The Marshall County Detention Center has a lack of segregation of duties over jail commissary operations and the Marshall County Jailer failed to maintain minimum accounting records for the jail commissary resulting in noncompliance with law.  

  The  court will address concerns noted in the audit at the Dec. 6 meeting of the Marshall County Fiscal Court.  The Fiscal Court meets at 9:30 a.m. 


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