State auditor gives Parson's office as Lt. Governor a "fair" rating

1 month 5 days 17 hours ago Thursday, July 18 2019 Jul 18, 2019 Thursday, July 18, 2019 10:43:00 AM CDT July 18, 2019 in News
By: Lindsey Wilkerson, KOMU 8 Digital Producer

JEFFERSON CITY - State Auditor Nicole Galloway released her audit of the Lieutenant Governor's office while now-Governor Mike Parson was serving. In a release Thursday, Galloway said the audit showed some concerns about travel, purchases, payroll and procedures.

The audit looked at the period from January 2017 to June 2018, while Parson served as lieutenant governor under former Gov. Eric Greitens.

Galloway explained several reasons for giving the office a "fair" rating.

Reimbursements for personal expenditures from taxpayer money:

According to the press release, Parson was reimbursed with taxpayer money from using his personal vehicle to travel to "entertainment events that did not appear necessary to office operations or a reasonable use of state funds."

The Auditor's Office said the Lieutenant Governor's office did not keep any records regarding the business purposes of the trips, and they did not keep a calendar of the Lieutenant Governor's activities.

Purchased vehicles for the office without justification:

The news release also said the Lieutenant Governor's office purchased two vehicles during the time he was in office, costing $33,000, despite only having five to six full-time employees during the audit period.

The Auditor's Office said no documentation was provided to indicate why the Lieutenant Governor's office needed to purchase those vehicles. The press release argued, "the need for the vehicles was questionable because they were infrequently used." 

Issues with payroll and employment records:

The audit also indicated there were issues with payroll procedures. The press release said that criminal background checks were not uniformly performed, job descriptions were not always produced, and former employees did not immediately have their state computer user accounts revoked.

The auditor's office also indicated one intern was paid $2,330, despite the fact they never showed a timesheet with the hours worked for that period.

Questionable employee reimbursements:

Lastly, the press release said that several purchases were made through employee reimbursements, instead of state-issued purchasing cards or other normal methods of payment by the state.

The Auditor's Office pointed to one situation, where an employee was accidentally reimbursed $525 twice for one purchase. After this issue was brought to light by audit staff, the former employee reimbursed the state, according to the press release.

To view the complete audit, click here.

Galloway is planning to run for governor in 2020, according to an AP report. 

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