The government of Morgan County received an overall rating of 'good' from Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway, a major improvement from 2014 when the county received the worst possible rating of 'poor.'

The government of Morgan County received an overall rating of ‘good’ from Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway, a major improvement from 2014 when the county received the worst possible rating of ‘poor.’ 

The regularly scheduled state audit was announced on March 17, 2017 and the final report was issued by Galloway on Wednesday, July 26, 2017. McBride, Lock & Associates, CPAs, were also engaged by the State to audit the financial statements of the county for the two years that ended on December 31, 2016. 

“Since their last audit, officials in Morgan County have made significant improvements in their operations,” Auditor Galloway said. “While there are some areas of concern, I’m hopeful the county will work to incorporate current audit recommendations to improve the efficiency and increase accountability.”

1. Evaluate the county’s internal controls over significant management and financial functions. 

2. Evaluate the county’s compliance with certain legal provisions.

3. Evaluate the economy and efficiency of certain management practices and procedures, including certain financial transactions.

The 2017 audit identified three areas of concern related to the Public Administrator’s Office, the Sheriff’s Revolving Fund and electronic data security. The overall rating assigned to the county is intended to reflect the performance of the county as a whole and does not indicate the performance of any one elected official or county office, according to the report.

The complete audit is available at https://app.auditor.mo.gov/AuditReports/CitzSummary.aspx?id=285&_ga=2.158878906.1289007237.1501092177-1172690466.1494462476,

Areas of concern

•The Public Administrator’s Office and the Circuit Court, Probate Division were cited for not filing annual settlements timely in compliance with state law and not following up with the Public Administrator when annual settlements are not filed by their due date.

“Additionally, the Public Administrator does not issue receipt slips for monies received or always restrictively endorse and record checks in the financial accounting system immediately upon receipt,” the report stated.

•Disbursements from the Sheriff’s Office Revolving Fund were not always appropriate.

“The County Commission authorized $52,851 in unallowable disbursements from the Sheriff’s Revolving Fund for vehicles totaling $51,808 and building repairs totaling $1,043,” according to the report.

•Controls over county computers were cited as not sufficient.

“As a result, county records are not adequately protected and are susceptible to unauthorized access. The County Collector, Sheriff, Public Administrator, Record of Deeds, County Assessor, and the County Clerk have not established adequate password controls to reduce the risk of unauthorized access to computers and data,” the report stated. “The Public Administrator and Prosecuting Attorney’s offices do not store data backups at an off-site location.”

Morgan County responses

Public Administrator — “Office staff will work diligently on making sure all settlements are filed timely. The office has implemented an Excel spreadsheet which will assist in tracking due dates. Office staff generally restrictedly endorse all incoming checks once the mail is opened, with a “for deposit only” stamp. The office will implement a procedure for logging incoming checks into a numbered tracking system immediately upon receipt.”

Circuit Court, Probate Division — “We have already established a policy for all estates in which notice will be sent, at the anniversary of the estate, requiring submission of the annual of final settlement. If the settlement is not filed after this notice, we will send a reminder after 30 days, requiring submission of the settlement or an appearance in court.”

Morgan County Commission — “We agree with the recommendation and will make the appropriate fund transfer of $52,851 from the Sheriff’s Revolving Fund to repay to the General Revenue Fund. We will contact our information technology personnel to implement requirements for changing passwords and will establish new policies on passwords for 2018. We agree with the recommendation and will work to establish a policy for off-site backup.”