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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Section II- Findings: 2-2014 Material Weakness

(Taken directly from the audit; text in parentheses is mine alone)

Criteria: Cash balances and corresponding fund balance should be reported on the County's financial statements.
Condition: The Statement of a Fiduciary Net Position and the Statement of Changes in Fiduciary Net Position are not being carried on the County's financial statements for the Jail's Inmate Trust Funds. This fund has four bank accounts associated with it that are not being reported.
Context: A review of all the bank accounts confirmed identified cash balances not being carried on the County's financial statements. Upon further inquiry it was determined the Jail's Inmate Trust Funds are maintained on a separate accounting system. The cash balance totaled $68,791. (The inmate Trust Fund holds monies deposited by and/or for inmates to use at the Commissary for toiletries, etc. It functions as a mini-bank for the prisoners)
Cause: The internal control for financial reporting does not exist for the Inmate Trust Fund.
Effect: The County's financial statements would be misstated without the inclusion of these fund balances.
Recommendation: An internal control framework should be established for the Inmate Trust Fund that includes a reconciliation of account balances per inmate, the recording and subsequent rooting of sales and purchases by each inmate and the reporting of fund balances to the County for inclusion in the financial statements.

(During the budget planning cycle for the year 2015 I witnessed the the County Judge exclude "pass-through" accounts that presumably zero themselves out from the written budget. This has been a long term issue and it's likely nobody knew these extraneous accounts should be included. Now we know for sure.)

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