Second State Audit Finds Problems With Rogers County Finances

Thursday, April 3rd 2014, 12:34 pm
By: News On 6

A second audit of Rogers County by the Oklahoma State Auditor and Inspector has found more problems with the way county officials handle money.

The audit released yesterday covered the fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2011. It found a wide range of problems, from a lack of internal controls to evidence the county billed FEMA twice for the same items to a lack of a Disaster Recovery Plan for the County Treasurer and the County Sheriff.

April 2, 2014: Related Story: State Audit Finds Numerous Problems With Rogers County Finances

It also found that 5 million dollars in FEMA money is accounted for, as well as evidence of potential fraud by one county commissioner.

Read the audit for Fiscal Year 2012.

Read the audit for Fiscal Year 2011.

The audit released Thursday morning is for the fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2012. The problems it found are similar to the problems uncovered by the audit released yesterday.

Here's a list of the key findings in the audit released Thursday:

Finding 2012-16 – Overcharges and Fictitious Invoice Submitted for Federal Reimbursement: An apparent fictitious invoice of $36,476.78 was used to claim FEMA expenditures on several projects. FEMA expenditures were over-charged through double invoicing in the amount of $258,018.09 and through claimed estimates in excess of the actual invoices of $25,853.08. (Pg. 39)

Finding 2012-17 – Questioned Costs Related to Federal FEMA Funds: A total of $5,524,224.85 of questioned costs were noted throughout the entirety of the FEMA project. This consisted of expenditures claimed without sufficient documentation, invoices submitted twice for reimbursement, and incorrect charges for equipment use and labor. (Pg. 41)

Finding 2012-18 – Advance of FEMA Funds for Equipment Lease-Purchased: The County financed $666,343.04 of equipment purchases made while claiming the full purchase price as expenditures incurred to FEMA. One piece of equipment was financed for 13 months after reimbursement was made. (Pg. 43)

Finding 2012-19 – Apparent Waste of Federal Funds – Lowest Price Not Sought in Purchase of Drill Rig: The County failed to bid in a way to ensure the County received the lowest and best price available. In this instance, the County expended $73,910 more on a drill rig than was necessary. (Pg. 45)

Finding 2012-21 – Bid-Restricting – Preference Shown to Vendor: The County solicited bids for a trade name product of "ChipLock," thus restricting bids to one vendor. This same vendor was once granted sole-source status, and the County has expended $8,085,611.56 with this vendor since July 1, 2010. (Pg. 34, 46)

Finding 2012-22 – No Verification of Road Construction/Materials Documented: The District 2 Commissioner approved road projects with a vendor in amounts ranging from $6,000 to $2.5 million without ensuring funds were available. Further, these expenditures did not have proper supporting documentation. (Pg. 35, 49)

Finding 2012-23 – Back-Dated Documents Submitted for FEMA Project – Engineering Services Not Competitively Considered: Documentation was back-dated between the County and an engineering firm to create the appearance of competitively considering engineering services in accordance with FEMA requirements. (Pg. 51)

Finding 2012-24 – County Property Used for Personal Use: The County Treasurer's cell phone has $40 internet and $20 texting packages, and it is not used exclusively for work-related matters. The internet card assigned to the Treasurer incurred data charges of $481.13 between 10:48 P.M. on a Sunday night to 1:24 A.M. on the following Monday morning. (Pg. 29)

Finding 2012-25 – Board Approval Not Obtained for Work on Private Property: The District 3 Commissioner used County-owned equipment to perform work on land leased by the Commissioner, and work was performed after midnight on 7/1/2011. The work was not approved by the BOCC, nor was a written agreement obtained from the landowner to perform this work. (Pg. 30)

Finding 2012-26 – Public Information Officer Paid from Restricted Highway Funds: The County paid a public information officer $12,000 out of the T-Highway Fund, and none of the work performed was work on county roads. All monies expended out of the T-Highway Fund are to be for county roads. (Pg. 31)

Finding 2012-27 – Purchases "Split" to Avoid Competitive Bidding: Two instances were noted where District 2 split purchases, and District Attorneys have opined that these instances were improper. One instance was $56,200 of equipment split between six purchase orders between March 29, 2012 and August 13, 2012. (Pg. 32)

Finding 2012-28 – Vendor-paid Events – Contributions Solicited from Vendors: On several occasions the District 2 Secretary (currently Rogers County Clerk) solicited donations/contributions from vendors for parties and events. (Pg. 34)