County has made changes to address allocation of salaries from different funds, vehicle allowances

Nicole Galloway

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (December 16, 2020) Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway today released a report on Jackson County government’s handling of payroll and personnel. The audit, part of an independent review of county government finances, found issues with the allocation from different funds to pay salaries and with the handling of vehicle allowances. The report gave a rating of “fair.”

“Our audit found there were several instances in which the county could not explain why salaries were split among multiple funds or provide explanations for employees’ vehicle allowances,” Auditor Galloway said. “I appreciate the responses from the County Legislature and the County Executive, which indicate they have already made some changes and are taking the recommendations of the audit seriously.”

The audit found the county does not maintain documentation to support the allocation of employee salaries to various county funds, including some restricted funds. In their responses, the county noted that changes in budgetary processes have now reduced the need to use multiple funds to support individual departments.

The county also did not have a written policy providing guidance on vehicle allowances and did not maintain documentation to show vehicle allowances are reasonable and necessary. In some cases, the vehicle allowances are negotiated as an added benefit prior to employment, instead of being based on actual miles driven.

Auditors reviewed 22 vehicle allowances and found the specific amounts granted in comparison to job duties and travel did not seem consistent. Additionally, for half of those employees, the vehicle allowance resulted in their total pay exceeding the maximum pay range for their position. In their responses, the county executive’s office stated the county recently adopted a new vehicle allowance policy.

The complete audit report is available here.

The performance audit is being done by the State Auditor’s Office at the request of the Jackson County Legislature and recommendation of the County Executive.