By Lyndsie Ferrell
DEL NORTE— Rio Grande County Commissioners met with a Wall, Smith and Bateman associate during their regular monthly meeting on Aug. 29.
Jessica Bogner handed out the audit packets to commissioners and opened by stating that the audit came out as expected for the 2017 fiscal year. “There were some issues that had to be resolved from the previous year and we worked through them with Administrator Roni Wisdom. The staff and other county officials were a pleasure to work with as always,” said Bogner.
“Based on our audit information, all financial statements within the county are correct as of Dec. 31, 2017. The audit is available for review on the website, if the general public wants to look it over. Pages one through 10 are user-friendly,” stated Bogner. “This document does not include prior years, so it allows the public to see the overall financial health of the county.”
While going through the packet, Bogner pointed out that the Rio Grande Public Health Department ended up over budget by $29,000 due to a reporting issue with a grant the department received. “This is something that was resolved by hiring a person to handle grants that come through the department. This was not any significant issue, but the county can expect a letter from the state that requests steps be taken to rectify the situation, which has been done,” explained Bogner.
“There are so many grants that filter through that department it was a huge benefit for us to hire someone to help the director with not only writing the grants, but help with reporting the funding that is awarded from the grants. It should help keep things in line with the budget in the future,” said Wisdom.
Another issue that was presented during the last fiscal year for 2016 stated that the county needs to have more management control over financial documents, meaning there needs to be different people looking over and checking financial documents within the county. When it was presented to Wisdom last year, she stated that she would need more time than a year to implement control over the financial process and has been working on it throughout the year.
Bogner explained that it was still an issue this year but the issue is being addressed and that Wisdom is working to resolve the problem. It is typical in a small county like Rio Grande to have this issue due to the small number of employees. “Smaller counties go through this on a regular basis and it is not abnormal for rural counties to have control issues because of the lack of staffing,” explained Bogner.
“We do recommend that the county continue to strengthen their internal control by adopting modified policies and procedures, which Roni has identified and is working on. Management has prepared a corrective action plan that explains how they will correct the internal control issue,” stated Bogner. “I am happy to say that we had no other issues and the audit went very well.”
For more information, please visit www.riograndecounty.org or the county administrator’s office in the courthouse located in Del Norte.