Stamp signatures, 660 unrecorded tickets and many inconsistencies between electronic and manual records – so read a few findings from a recently released state audit of Sugar Creek’s Municipal Court.
Auditors examined written policies, financial records and conducted interviews to provide a glimpse into court practices for the year ending in September 2016. The overall result rates the court’s performance as “fair,” meaning the division must improve operations in several areas and extend immediate attention.
State Auditor Nicole Galloway released the report on Thursday.
Key discoveries in the document point to insufficient internal controls. Specifically, other court officials did not adequately review work by the clerk. As the manager of the court’s finances – including records and depositing money into the city’s account – the clerk reportedly did not follow the provision of submitting receipts daily or when amount reached $100. Instead, the court regularly kept amounts of $100 for over a week, according to the audit.
In response, the court changed operating orders to require submitting receipts semi-weekly or when amounts exceed $500, better reflecting its practices.
Further, information in the court’s content management system underreported accrued costs by $2,841. This exemplifies the court’s alleged overall problem with lack of documentation, which included not retaining copies of tickets and not documenting reduced or waived fines.
The court states it has never had any problems with missing funds, but has since begun conducting a monthly review of adjustments and monitoring accrued costs.
The complete audit can be found here.