State Auditor David Vaudt Thursday released a report on the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office for the period July 1,2008 through June 30,2012. Procedures were performed as a result of concerns regarding the deposit of fees collected for a series of handgun safety training courses instructed by Sheriff's Office personnel and certain credit card purchases made by Sheriff's Office personnel. Vaudt reported the procedures identified approximately $18,000 of fees collected for training courses which were not properly deposited with the County Treasurer. Vaudt said the fees collected were used to compensate the training course instructors. However because sufficient supporting documentation was not available, it was not possible to determine the exact number of participants in the training courses. Although class rosters were maintained beginning May 1,2009, receipts were not prepared. As a result there may be additional undeposited amounts which were not identified.
Vaudt reported 13 of 35 credit card transactions tested were not supported by receipts itemized in sufficient detail to determine the property of the purchases. In addition, 1 transaction tested did not have pre-approval from the Board of Supervisors to exceed the maximum travel per diem rate as required by County policy. Vaudt also reported a written policy regarding uniform purchases for the Jail Administration has not been developed and implemented and a formal system has not been established for tracking ammunition inventory.
In addition, Vaudt reported the Sheriff's Office maintains a bank account which is used for all daily collections, such as room and board fees, gun permit fees, cash bonds and civil collections. The Sheriff's Office remits the County's portion of the funds collected from the bank account to the County Treasurer each quarter. The activity in the bank account was appropriate and in accordance with Iowa Code. Vaudt also reported the quarterly payments remitted to the County Treasurer were in accordance with Iowa Code.
The report also includes recommendations to strengthen the internal controls and overall operations of the Sheriff's Office. Recommendations to the Sheriff's Office include depositing training course fees collected in accordance with the Code of Iowa, reviewing credit card purchases for compliance with Hamilton County's credit card and travel policies prior to payment, developing and implementing a written policy for the purchase of uniforms for the Jail Administration and developing and implementing a formal system to track ammunition inventory. In addition, Vaudt recommended the Department of Public Safety ensure the recommendations regarding the provision of training courses by Sheriff's Office personnel and the deposit of any related fees collected are communicated to the other Sheriff's Offices. A copy of the report has been filed with the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office, Hamilton County Attorney's Office and the Department of Public Safety.