Diedrick it is still accurate to expect the exit meeting to be scheduled during the first half of the year.

Camden County residents should have the results of a state audit before mid-year according to the latest update from Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway’s office. 

In a statement from the auditor’s office, Press Secretary Steph Deidrick said, there are multiple factors that go into estimating a timeline of an audit’s completion.

“It’s worth noting these estimates can change based on available resources and workload. For example, the State Auditor’s office has several deadlines for statewide financial recourse during the first part of the year. because there a statutory deadlines, a portion of the office resources must be focused on those efforts at this time of year.”

Diedrick it is still accurate to expect the exit meeting to be scheduled during the first half of the year.

The draft report is still in the internal review process, she said. 

Once that is complete, the state will schedule what is referred to as an exit meeting with Camden County officials. That is the meeting in which the state will turn over the draft audit to the county.

The auditor’s office said the meeting is expected to be scheduled within the next several months.

Once the draft audit is released to the county, the county will have 30 days to respond to the findings. Those responses will be included in the final report. Once the final report is finalized, the auditor’s office will hold a public meeting to release the findings.

The audit process began in January of 2019. The audit was initiated through a resolution approved by the Camden County Commission. The resolution was passed after a group of citizen’s began simulating a petition to request an audit.

A state audit report was last issued in 1994 prior to Camden County becoming a first class county in 1997.

“This will be a comprehensive audit to review county operations and practices to find any areas where Camden County can make improvements to better serve the public,” Auditor Galloway said.

The audit process includes looking at compliance with the Missouri Sunshine Law, the budget preparation process, analyzing financial documentation, and reviewing performances and practices.

The audit could also determine whether or not the county is following state statutes and best practices in regards to bidding processes, revenues and expenditures, as well as current protections and safeguards in place to prevent fraud.

This type of audit performed by the state differs from the independent financial audit the county commission has contracted Daniel Jones and Associates, CPA, to conduct on an annual basis.

The County has been cited for deficiencies related to a lack of internal control procedures and documentation, as well as bank reconciliation issues, on audits submitted by Daniel Jones and Associates in the past.

The total cost of the audit will fall on the county. The county commission previously said they likely wouldn’t know the total cost of the audit until it was complete, but estimates have ranged from $100,000 to $150,000 depending on the scope and findings.

On April 19, 2017, the county commission approved an official resolution as per Missouri Revised Statutes to begin the process of requesting a state audit. Prior to that in March of 2017, the county commission approved a motion to pursue an independent or state audit after meeting with concerned citizens. A bi-partisan group of citizens had undertaken a county-wide effort to gather enough signatures to petition the state for an audit.

The county commission ultimately decided a state audit would be the best option to restore faith in local government and began pursuing the request with Galloway’s office. On April 27, 2017, the Commission received a letter from the state confirming the receipt of the request and subsequent approval.