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Audit of Wayne County identifies several concerns in county government, gives rating of ‘fair’

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — An audit of Wayne County released today by State Auditor Nicole Galloway has identified several concerns with county government operations and has given a rating of “fair.” Wayne County is located in southeast Missouri.

“Government officials are responsible for safeguarding taxpayer dollars. In Wayne County, our audit found several instances where safeguards were not in place, putting those resources at risk,” Auditor Galloway said. “I urge Wayne County officials to implement the recommendations of the audit to better protect those resources.”

Many of the findings identified in the report were in the County Collector’s office, which handles tax collections. The audit found the Collector did not prepare and file an annual settlement for the years ended Feb. 29, 2020 and Feb. 28, 2021, as required by state law. Because the annual settlements were not filed, the County Commission cannot verify the Collector’s accounts.

In addition, the audit reported accounting duties in the Collector’s office are not adequately segregated and the following weaknesses in office procedures: monthly bank reconciliations are not prepared adequately or timely, accurate book balances are not maintained for all bank accounts, a monthly list of liabilities for the office’s bank accounts is not prepared and reconciled to book balances, proper controls and procedures for making refunds have not been established, and distributions to political subdivisions are not always timely in accordance with state law.

The audit also found the County Clerk does not maintain an account book or other records summarizing property tax charges, transactions and changes and does not prepare or verify the accuracy of the current or delinquent tax books. In addition, the audit reported the offices of the Sheriff and Prosecuting Attorney need to improve accounting controls and procedures.

Other findings in the report included controls over computers in some county offices are not sufficient, and the county has not developed records management and retention policies regarding electronic messaging in compliance with established guidelines.

A copy of the Wayne County audit can be found here.