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May 12, 2013

County audit underway

CLAREMORE —

The office of Oklahoma State Auditor Gary Jones started a general audit of Rogers County this week.
Auditors arrived on Monday for the standard audit that is expected to take approximately two months to complete.
The agency will be conducting an audit of the past two fiscal years, bringing the county’s audits up to date.
Rogers County was behind four to five years on audits prior to Jones’s administration, according to Commissioner Kirt Thacker.
“I am glad the auditor’s office is getting us caught up,” Thacker said.
In July 2012 the state auditor’s office released the 2008, 2009 and 2010 Rogers County Audits, citing several findings.
Last year the audit reported issues with inadequate documentation or no documentation to support FEMA funds received from the federal government.
The report also highlighted a concern with purchasing procedures.
Citing an issue with road striping, the auditors questioned several purchases made with Time Striping, an Arkansas company.
These purchases later became the subject of an investigation by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.
Assistant District Attorney Ben Loring chose not to file charges in November 2012 for the purchases due to limitation in the state statute.
In an earlier interview, Jones explained the backlog of audits created a belief that “work as usual” was OK. 
Since counties did not have an audit, they assumed they were following procedure, he said.
Despite the lack of audits and confusion, county officials are still responsible for keeping track of records and following state statutes, Jones reported in August 2012.
Thacker said the auditors “help us to stay current with current laws.”
The audits serve as way for county officials to become aware of mistakes that are made and help insure they are not repeated, according to Thacker.
Results from the current audit will be released to the public on the state auditor’s website, www.sai.ok.gov after completion.
The county will have the opportunity to address the report prior to public review, if any findings are made from this year’s audit.
 

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