Audit finds few issues for county in FY 2017

Auditors found a few issues in its review of Clark County’s financial records for the 2017 fiscal year, which county officials say have been addressed.

The audit, which was presented to the Clark County Fiscal Court last week, listed six issues. Four of those are related to the county jail while the final two relate to the fiscal court and its operations.

Two of the items referred to the jail’s commissary accounts, one for not having enough segregation of duties over the account and not keeping adequate accounting records.

Auditors said the jail had a computerized system for the commissary accounts but employees at the time were not trained enough to use the system to prepare the necessary reports. They said the deposits were made, but receipts were not batched and there were no daily cash checkout sheets, which meant the auditor could not trace the deposits to the jail’s records.

Clark County Jailer Frank Doyle said he has been able to hire additional staff to help with those duties.

“We didn’t have the money to hire an extra person” at the time, Doyle said. “We’ve hired an extra administrative person. Hopefully that will make things like this go away. There’s never been a question about the money.”

The auditors also specified the jail prepare daily check-out sheets, journals for commissary receipts and disbursements and a summary and reconciliation statement as part of the regular record keeping.

There was also a finding that a technology grant was obtained and spent without fiscal court approval. The auditors recommended that items purchased with the grant be paid from the jail’s general fund and that the county treasurer submit a reimbursement request from the grant vendor.

Doyle said the grant was tied to a telecommunications contract he signed in 2015 shortly after he took office. Auditors said those grants or commissions should be considered receipts of the fiscal court and added to the county general fund.

Doyle said the grant has been added as a line item to the jail budget for the coming fiscal year.

Auditors also questioned how the jail staff handled inmates money after finding some checks which were more than a year old in the account. Funds more than a year old can be considered abandoned from the date checks are mailed.

Doyle said the jail has implemented another system which gives inmates a debit card with their balance when they are released.

“It’s cheaper than writing a check,” he said. “It takes less people to do it.”

The fiscal court was named in one item for not having proper controls in place over payments and checks, including instances where employees were handed their check rather than being mailed, no supporting documentation for five work-release inmate meals and images of the backs of checks were not recorded.

In the audit comments, former judge-executive Henry Branham said vendor checks must now be picked up in the judge-executive’s office, that all contracts of $20,000 or more be reviewed by the fiscal court and asked the bank to provide images of check backs as well; those would be reviewed monthly by the treasurer and the judge’s staff.

Auditors also found the treasurer’s report was not recorded in several sets of meeting minutes and other instances where bids or contracts were approved but the minutes did not record the vendors, the number of bids and other information.

Last week, Clark County Judge-Executive Chris Pace said he reviews the minutes each month and will continue to do so.