An audit of the La Plata County Treasurer’s Office is expected to begin as early as this month, ahead of schedule, in an effort to identify and correct errors related to operational procedures.
On Tuesday, La Plata County commissioners unanimously voted to advise the county manager to arrange for the audit using $5,000 appropriated for that purpose in the 2017 budget.
“Audits are the opportunity to test our systems and make sure they’re working as optimally as they can,” Assistant County Manager Joanne Spina said.
An independent agency will conduct the audit and focus on the accuracy of recording revenue received and distributed. Findings will be reported to commissioners.
The audit was tentatively planned to commence this summer, but it was expedited to clear departmental problems quickly.
Treasurer Allison Aichele, who was not at Tuesday’s meeting, told staff members and commissioners in recent months that her four employees are drowning in a backlog of work and may not be in compliance with procedural statutes that pertain to record-keeping.
County officials believe funds have been accepted and dispersed accurately; their concern is how those figures were recorded by the office.
Commissioners granted permission this month for Aichele to fill a vacancy to help get her office caught up.
The vote was an exception to the county’s freeze on new hires given the budget shortfall, and the position could cost as much as $11,700 more in salary and benefits annually.
Depending on the depth of the review, the audit could cost up to $15,000 in addition to the $5,000 initially appropriated. If needed, additional money would come from the county’s contingency fund for unexpected costs.