Citizen-requested audit finds concerns with bidding, budgets and other district processes
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway today released a citizen-requested audit of the Western Cass Fire Protection District, which is located in western Cass County. The audit made recommendations related to spending and budgeting to ensure transparent and effective use of taxpayer dollars.
“The citizens served by the Western Cass Fire Protection District requested this audit to get an independent review of the financial practices of the district. The result is a comprehensive report that makes recommendations in several areas,” Auditor Galloway said. “Based on their responses to the audit, the board of directors is working to implement our recommendations and address the concerns.”
The district did not have a policy related to bidding and, as a result, had not solicited bids for $16,000 in insurance coverage. The district also did not advertise a request for bid proposals for renovations to a fire station and did not retain documentation supporting the decision to not award the project to the lowest bidder. The project cost more than $18,000.
The audit also recommended the board adopt formal policies for the use of the district’s debit card and ensure receipts are retained for all purchases.
The audit also found several areas for the district to improve practices related to transparency of financial practices and operations. Budgets for the 2020 and 2021 fiscal years were incomplete and financial reports did not include necessary details of the district’s financial transactions. Additionally, the district did not always comply with the Sunshine Law.
The complete audit report, which received an overall rating of fair, is available here.