Barring any delays, Camden County residents should finally have the results of a state audit before long, according to the latest update from Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway’s office.

Barring any delays, Camden County residents should finally have the results of a state audit before long, 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, “Our office expects to schedule an exit meeting this month. After receiving a copy of the draft report, the county will have 30 days to provide written responses to the audit findings.

These responses are included in the final report, which, once finalized, is released to the public.”

Once the final report is finalized, the auditor’s office will hold a public meeting to release the findings. That will be the public’s first opportunity to view the audit report since the process began in 2017.

The audit began in January of 2018. The audit was initiated through a resolution approved by the Camden County Commission. The resolution was passed after a group of citizens 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 at the time the process began.

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.