Adams County received an internal controls audit this week showing multiple areas of concern with the Treasurer’s Office operations, including:
- Accounting and Reporting
- Safeguarding of Assets
- Segregation of Duties
- Written Policies and Procedures and Job Descriptions
- General Concerns
Areas assessed in the audit include selected financial records, including bank records, bank reconciliations, financial reports, and Tyler Technologies (software system) data exports for Jan. 1, 2020, through June 30, 2021; financial policies and procedures; job descriptions; and random testing of accounting and financial processes in the Treasurer’s Office.
“The findings in this report are unfortunately exactly what we expected and have experienced to date from the Treasurer’s Office,” said Lynn Baca, Board Chair. “We are seeking legal action through the courts to request a receiver be appointed soon to help remedy this situation and allow us to continue providing top-notch service to our residents – that’s the priority here.”
Not having access to the data has caused major impacts to county operations including reporting to the Adams County Board of Commissioners and residents in a timely and accurate manner, inability to reconcile bank balances and accurately track revenue amounts and payments, and delays in completing required year-end reporting.
Additional potential impacts may include missing assets, unresolved complaints regarding payments, other internal county departments unable to complete their reporting in a timely manner, and negatively affecting the county’s credit rating.
To date, the Board of County Commissioners, the County Attorney’s Office, and the Budget & Finance Department have all made multiple attempts to gain access to financial data, with little to no success.
To try to resolve the access issues, in 2021 the Board of Commissioners sent letters and met with the Treasurer, demanded access for two auditing firms to conduct internal audits, and eventually filed litigation in October to gain access to the Treasurer’s Office accounts and ultimately ensure the statutory obligations of the Treasurer’s Office are being met.
Adams County will continue to petition the courts to expedite appointing an independent investigative committee to review the Treasurer’s Office and a receiver to protect the public’s interest.
Statement from the Adams County Board of Commissioners – Provided Oct. 28, 2021
“We are unified as a Board that legal action is required to ensure this independently elected office is transparent in the accounting of county taxpayer dollars. The Treasurer serves as the bank for Adams County, and by law, these accounts must be open to inspection. To date, the Treasurer has not provided the required reports and has not provided adequate information requested to allow for a standard audit of the office. The limited information the Board has been able to gather indicates the Treasurer is not timely or accurate in performing statutory duties, which could negatively impact the county’s bond rating and financial outlook.
Transparency is among the core values in public service and this Board is committed to providing our residents and partner agencies with access to financial records, audit reports, and confidence in good governance.”