Claremore Daily Progress

April 13, 2014

Oversight committee organized

DeLozier discusses steps to address deficiencies found in audits

Mark Friedel
Staff Reporter

CLAREMORE —

Rogers County Commission Chairman Dan DeLozier, Dist. 1, held a meeting Friday with county officials  to discuss ways of addressing deficiencies found in the recent 2011 and 2012 county audit reports.
DeLozier said an oversight committee will meet the second Wednesday of every month beginning May 7, to discuss implementing procedures recommended by the state auditors. 
District 2 Commissioner Mike Helm and District 3 Commissioner Kirt Thacker were not able to attend the discussion because the meeting was never officially posted on an agenda. According to the Open Meeting Act of Oklahoma, if a majority of board members do not come together as part of a committee then the meeting does not need to be publicly posted.
None of the audit’s major “Items of Interest” were discussed in Friday’s meeting; however, DeLozier did briefly discuss the need to improve disaster recovery plans for various county departments, and address segregation of duties for tax collectors.
A disaster recovery plan consists of precautions taken in order to minimize the effects of a disaster, allowing the county departments to either maintain or quickly resume mission-critical functions.
DeLozier said one of the first steps needed to improve a disaster recovery plan is to identify staff — using titles, such as chief officer, first deputy, etc.
“(Auditors) want how you’re identifying your staff, and they want contact information for those individuals,” he said. “The disaster recovery plan should have a list of each person in charge who has information on how to recover after disaster strikes. We need to document everything, and have it backed up at multiple sites so that when auditors ask for the information, we have it.”
Another recommendation from auditors included seperation of duties for tax collectors.
Currently, the county treasurer’s office utilizes four cashiers who handle money transactions from residents. Treasurer Cathy Pinkerton-Baker said the auditors feel that only one employee should handle cash transactions in order to reduce the blame for any shortage of funds that may occur.
“In order to run an efficient business, there needs to be more than one employee taking cash. This allows customers to get in and out in an adequate amount of time,” she said. “There are ways of working on segregation of duties, and we’re going to continue discussing options with the state auditors office.”
DeLozier said during the oversight committee meetings, elected county officials will discuss implementing procedures regarding future FEMA disasters, including gathering project worksheets to see what each district is doing and to make sure paper work is documented and filed correctly.
The committee will meet at 10 a.m.  on May 7 to begin presenting procedures that will directly address deficiencies discovered from the audit and how to resolve the items.
DeLozier said he would like to have a public hearing on the matter in the near future, and include Helm and Thacker. 
No type of forum has been confirmed at this time.