An audit of Otterville by state Auditor Nicole Galloway found the city needs to make improvements in its fiscal oversight and accounting procedures.

The audit was initiated through a citizen petition. The Otterville city government received a rating of fair by the auditor’s office.

“My audit found more needs to be done to ensure checks and balances, so that taxpayer dollars are better safeguarded,” Galloway said in a news release.

Multiple calls to Otterville government leaders were not returned as of Thursday morning.

The board of aldermen does not have adequate oversight over financial functions performed by the city clerk, the audit found. There were multiple checks without dual authorized signatures and there are no audits of the city’s water and sewer systems.

The audit recommended increased oversight and separation of the clerk’s duties and that required audits occur.

The city also needs more financial transparency, the audit found. Accurate financial statements were not prepared and maintained and financial statements were not published, as required. Budgets also were not amended when necessary as required. The board passed an amended budget Nov. 14, 2018, but only after it had exceeded what was previously budgeted. Even after the amendments, the city still overspent in some funds, according to the release.

Credit card purchases also need better oversight. City ordinances require two signatures for purchases more than $250. The audit found a 2018 credit card purchase that totaled $495. The credit card also was used for personal purchases, that were later repaid, according to the release. Other bills were paid late, resulting in fees and interest charged to the city.

The city needs better procedures for receipts and recording and depositing money. Improvements are needed to payroll, time sheet, leave and health incentive policies for city employees.