The Missouri State Auditor, Nicole Galloway recently released the findings of the Tenth Judicial Circuit City of Monroe City Municipal Division audit. In the areas audited, the overall performance of the entity was rated as Good. Auditor rating results can be rated as Excellent, Good, Fair or Poor.

A good rating states: the audit results indicate this entity is well managed. The report contains few findings, and the entity has indicated most or all recommendations have already been, or will be, implemented. In addition, if applicable, many of the prior recommendations have been implemented.

Findings in the audit of the Tenth Judicial Circuit-City of Monroe City Municipal Division were as follows: The municipal division has not adequately segregated accounting and recordkeeping duties, and neither the Municipal Judge nor city personnel perform supervisory or independent reviews of municipal division accounting and court records. The municipal division does not reconcile receipts slips issued for court receipts in the city’s financial accounting system to the case management system to ensure all monies are properly recorded. Police department personnel cannot account for all bonds received. Generic unnumbered bond forms are issued and recorded on a log. Pre-numbered receipt slips are issued for bond payments received; however, the receipt slip number is not posted to the log. The municipal division has not established a formal administrative plan for the collection of court debt and does not adequately monitor accrued costs, including fines and court costs. The municipal division does not assess certain court costs in compliance with city ordinance and state law.

The scope of the audit included, but was not necessarily limited to, the year ended September 30, 2018. The objectives of the audit were to: Evaluate the municipal division’s internal controls over significant financial functions; Evaluate the municipal division’s and city’s compliance with certain legal provisions; Evaluate the municipal division’s compliance with certain court rules; and Evaluate the city’s compliance with state laws restricting the amount of certain court revenues that may be retained.

In the areas audited, the auditors noted; deficiencies in internal controls; noncompliance with legal provisions; no significant noncompliance with court rules; and no noncompliance with state laws restricting the amount of certain court revenues that many be retained.

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State Audit Manager, Julie Moulden, addressed the council earlier this year to inform City of the petition audit requested.

The City’s response to fix the above items stated: A full segregation of duties is not possible due to the small number of employees at city hall. In addition, the Municipal Judge is only available one day a month for court. However, we agree an independent review would be beneficial and will work with the city to implement the recommendation; a reconciliation of receipts recorded in the financial accounting system and the case management system will be performed and documented; we will work with the police department to implement the recommendation; we will establish procedures to monitor accrued costs and require defendants to sign payment plans; and we have already begun working with the city attorney to update the city’s ordinances and fine schedule to ensure court costs are assessed in accordance with city ordinance and state law.

The auditors also noted a petition audit of the City of Monroe City is still in process and any findings or recommendations will be included in the subsequent report.

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