Auditor "pleased" with changes since damaging Osage Co. report

2 years 6 months 2 weeks ago Tuesday, June 02 2015 Jun 2, 2015 Tuesday, June 02, 2015 2:07:00 PM CDT June 02, 2015 in News
By: James Packard, KOMU 8 Digital Prodcuer

JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway said Tuesday she was "pleased" with changes made in Osage County since the release of a damaging audit in December.

In the December report, the auditor's office noted several instances of oversight and raised concerns about accounting for inventory in county purchases. The audit showed several instances of rock purchases that never made it to county road projects and a number of missing items from the county's equipment inventory. The discovery of questionable purchases and misuse of county assets resulted in an Osage County Road and Bridge Foreman's resignation on Aug. 7. 

Some unaccounted inventory was traced back to a single employee, but the auditor's office said as of December, the county had not implemented proper controls to prevent similar problems. Galloway said Tuesday that had since changed and the county later implemented measures to safeguard against misuse of county resources.  

The December audit also found the county had not properly compensated workers for over-time, the county clerk was not adequately tracking financial activities of the county collector and county offices were not conducting required inventories, among other problems.

Out of the December audit's initial recommendations to the county, ten were selected for review in March and April. Of those ten, the auditor's office said four were implemented and four were in the process of being implemented. 

Osage County Clerk Patrick Steele said the county put out a new personnel manual May 12. 

While the follow-up report shows some improvement, it also shows The Osage County Sheriff's Department bookkeeper still keeps inconsistent records, as of June 2.

Steele said, "We are hoping it will be addressed".

Steele said the county was aware of problems before the audit in December. "We were aware of a lot of the problems and had been working to try to get it corrected," he said. "The audit just kind of gave us the push to make other elected officials aware of it."

"We all have the same boss and that's the taxpayers of Osage County. We better get it corrected," Steele said.

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