BOCC begins recordings, hears audit findings

© 2018-Center Post Dispatch

SAGUACHE — Saguache County Commissioners officially began their recording of meetings last week but had the tapes rolling as Wall, Smith and Bateman auditor Jessica Bogner delivered the county’s audit on Tuesday.
Bogner began by announcing she was delivering the county an “unmodified opinion, which is what you want.” She listed the county’s total general revenue as $3 million and total assets at $8.2 million, with $2.5 million in the general fund, $3.2 million in the road and bridge fund and $13 million in total revenues. Current liabilities stand at $327,000.
She noted the county experienced no over expenditures and overall said the county was making good progress and moving forward.
However, Bogner did list several findings in the audit and commented that the findings on internal controls over financial reporting “is a repeat over several years.” This is cited in the audit findings as a non-compliance material to financial statements and a financial material weakness. She listed these as not reconciling various financial accounts.
The Saguache Social Services fund was not accurately reconciled to the State of Colorado Financial Management system and the department also failed to provide documentation for $67,375 of $208,588 in home placements. Audit adjustments were proposed for the General Fund, Public Health Fund and Housing Authority Fund.
“The housing authority needs to do more cleanup,” Bogner instructed, noting that of three steps suggested last year to correct the problem, only one step had been completed.
“Everyone needs to do their job in a timely way; many things get lost in translation,” she told the BoCC and administration. “You need direct oversight because if errors are not caught things grow and get harder. You need to figure out why things don’t balance.”
Accounts are not reconciled to what the county clerk has, she continued and this has the potential to become a material misstatement. County co-Administrator Lyn Zimmer-Lambert explained that in one case, at least, the two departments did fix the error but did not ask for a new reconciliation. Bogner advised Zimmer-Lambert to document the finding and note when it was reconciled.
State laws have changed, Bogner told the board, and the county now must begin processing taxes through the clerk’s office, including certain accounts from the sheriff’s office and other items listed by the public trustee. Under the new law, these need to be entered as line items in the activity fund ledger.
Bogner said WSB “did not encounter any difficulties conducting the audit and that’s good. There were no disagreements with management.”
Commissioners accepted the audit once Bogner finished her presentation. Zimmer-Lambert said the county is formulating corrective measures to address the findings and these should be presented at the Oct. 4 meeting.
Recordings
Commissioners were asked if recordings would be available immediately to the public, and Commissioner Chair Tim Lovato said the board is still determining how and when the recordings will be released, insisting the written minutes are still the official record.
Typically, minutes are not available from the county for consultation or article-writing until the following month. It was this problem that fueled the renewed requests for recordings, which began in 2011. Commissioner Jason Anderson acknowledged the observations and said they would be considered when the board decides how and when the recordings will be made available to the public.


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