The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

By Michele Smith
The Times 

State Wraps Up Col. County Audit

No significant deficiencies, but county receives several exit recommendations


November 2, 2017

DAYTON—In October, the Board of Columbia County Commissioners received exit recommendations from personnel with the state auditor’s office, for the audit period Jan, 1, 2015 – Dec. 31, 2016.

There were no significant deficiencies or material weaknesses for cash, revenues, and expenditures, and controls were in place to ensure financial statements are materially correct, and which had no material misstatements, according to the auditors.

It was recommended that the county work to track internal transfers among all county funds and ensure a timely and complete cash reconciliation process.

During the reconciliation of cash, revenues and expenditures reported on bank statements to the financial statements, the auditors noted; a -$1,698,147 variance between reported and expected revenues, a -$917,249 variance between reported and expected expenditures and a -$90,439 variance between reported and expected ending cash and investments.

The Accountability Audit for new or unusual vendors in 2015-16 showed valid payment support for vendors.

E-911 operations, CRAB and RATA grants were in compliance.

The Clerk of the Court was proactive regarding the state-wide IT conversion, according to the audit report.

Recommendations were for the sheriff’s department to update their written policies and procedures to include an internal audit of property-room evidence to ensure listings are accurate and complete, and to ensure all e-tickets are filed with the court within five days.

While the Fair Board has made significant improvements in controls over cash receipting at the fair, there are still internal control deficiencies, according to the auditors.

The auditors recommended the Fair Board provide adequate oversight and monitoring of fair operations, or establish compensating monitoring controls, and provide written policies and procedures over cash receipting to ensure all funds are collected and deposited.

Training should be provided to individuals responsible for cash receipting and the number of tickets sold should be reconciled with cash collected and ensure deposits are intact.

A recommendation was also made by the auditors that the county update the fee schedule for the fairgrounds youth building to include specific provisions for using county facilities free of charge.

The county waived fees for use of the building three times in the fiscal year 2015-16.

With regard to holiday pay, the auditors noted that a paid half day off for employees was recorded as a “float holiday” on payroll records, which was in addition to two unpaid holidays allowed under the RCWs.

The report states the RCWs require offices to be open certain days and hours, unless prescribed by resolution, and WAC Article VII prohibits extra compensation, unless a policy or agreement defining potential payment is established.

Another recommendation is the county draft written procurement procedures reflecting applicable federal, state, and local requirements and written standards of conduct covering conflicts of interest and governing actions of employees engaged in the selection, award, and administration of contracts.

The commissioners have been asked by the auditors to provide a management letter with documentation for the county’s procurement of behavioral health services.

The next audit will take place in summer, 2018, and it will be a scope of financial accountability for 2017.


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