Audit gives rating of “fair,” recommends changes to better serve county taxpayers

Jefferson City, MO (STL.News) Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway today released an audit of Stone County, located in southwest Missouri.  The regularly scheduled audit found that controls and procedures needed improvement in several county offices, including those of the Public Administrator, the Sheriff, the Collector and the Prosecuting Attorney.  The report gave the county a rating of “fair.”

The audit found the Public Administrator does not always file annual settlements and status reports timely with the probate court. In a review of 42 cases, 37 cases did not have annual settlements or status reports filed timely; for eight of the cases, the settlement or report was overdue by more than five years.  The office also was not consistently assessing and collecting fees from accounts, and some gift cards purchased for a ward lacked adequate documentation.

The audit identified both the offices of the Sheriff and Prosecuting Attorney did not make deposits timely.  Other weaknesses in the Sheriff’s office included not restrictively endorsing all checks when received, inadequate follow-up on outstanding bills for boarding prisoners, and charging fees for serving civil process papers that did not comply with state law.

The audit also reported the Collector withheld $77,700 more from tax collections for the county assessment fund than allowed by state law, the Collector needs to improve monitoring of taxpayer balances in the partial payment account, and the County Commission needs to improve payroll and leave documentation for salaried employees.

The full report on Stone County can be found here.

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