Cooper County will be making some changes in the way they keep records. According to the audit report, there were “(1) deficiencies in the internal controls, (2) noncompliance with legal provisions, and (3) the need for improvement in management practices and procedures.”
Transitioning from paper ledgers to computers has been a contributing factor to the issue of internal controls and the need for improvement in management practices and procedures. County Treasurer Stanley Serck said his office changed to computers at the beginning of 2012 and the set-up had taken the better part of six months.
When asked what he thought about the auditor’s report, Serck said, “I thought it was a little harsh.”
During those first six months, Serck was keeping up manually and making the switch to the new system.
“I know I should have made those entries more timely, but with the new system and my own health issues, it just couldn’t be helped,” Serck said.
Improvement was already being made when the auditor’s report was received, but Serck agrees more improvement is needed and will be done.
The issue of “noncompliance with legal provisions” concerned “the transfer of money from the Road and Bridge Trust Fund to reimburse the General Revenue Fund for election costs, which is not allowed by law.”
The County Commission provided the following written response: “In the future, the County Commission will follow audit recommendations on election costs, and transfers between the Road and Bridge Trust and General Revenue Funds. However, we have historically paid for election costs out of the Road and Bridge Trust fund, so we do not feel it is necessary to transfer the 2012 election costs back to the fund.”
The auditors found nothing in the audit to indicate there were any missing funds and the issue of “noncompliance with legal provisions” has never been mentioned in past audits.