Auditor Galloway releases audit of Shannon County; cites fund imbalances, inadequate fiscal procedures, other issues

Report gives rating of "fair," along with recommendations to fix problems
August 20, 2018

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (Aug. 20, 2018) State Auditor Nicole Galloway today released a regularly scheduled audit of the government of Shannon County, located in southeast Missouri. The audit, which received an overall rating of fair, found several areas where county officials needed to make improvements.

"The purpose of an audit is to not only identify fiscal problems, but also to make clear recommendations on how to address and correct those problems," Auditor Galloway said. "In Shannon County, there are many issues with how taxpayer money has been mismanaged. I urge county officials to follow through on my recommendations to better serve their constituents."

The report found the county's General Revenue Fund continues to be in a weak condition, with disbursements exceeding receipts in three of the last four years and an outstanding balance owed to the Special Road and Bridge Fund. In addition, county officials have not sufficiently reduced the property tax levy collected in order to meet the legal requirement of off-setting sales tax monies the county receives.

The Auditor recommended that the County Commission take the necessary steps to improve the condition of the General Revenue Fund and make long-term plans to avoid future problems, as well as work with the County Clerk to reduce property tax levies to follow state law.

The audit also identified the need for the County Collector to file annual settlements, so that taxes can be accounted for properly and that other county officials can verify the Collector's accounts. Other problems in the Collector's office included the lack of preparing bank reconciliations and lists of liabilities, the failure to maintain a running checkbook balance, and the need to make timely disbursements.

Other issues found in the audit included the need for improvement in accounting controls and procedures in the Sheriff's office; the need for the Public Administrator to implement policies to better safeguard the interests of the wards and estates for whom the Public Administrator is responsible; fiscal and administrative problems with the county's SB40 Board; the need for improvement in county personnel policies and leave records, including addressing the appearance of a conflict of interest in which a county road and bridge employee is supervised by his brother, the Northern District Associate Commissioner; and the need to improve procedures and records to account for county property.

The complete audit report of Shannon County is here.

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