Pulaski County Judge-executive Barty Bullock in his official response points to state law, which requires that a county government’s treasurer keep an accurate account of all financial transactions of the county — and that the treasurer deal with all money that flows through the county.
“If the county treasurer gives up too much of the day to recording and receipting of the money collected and distributed, it is entirely possible to lose an accurate oversight of the flow of the county’s overall financial picture,” Bullock stated in his response. “Receiving, recording and balancing of the county’s cash flow is the most important of the treasurer’s duties.”
Bullock added that fiscal court serves as overseer to the treasurer because the magistrates approve the county’s financial statements monthly.
Still, Bullock did say that better controls could be in place.
“We agree that some of the agencies receiving and accounting for money on behalf of the county should have better controls in place,” Bullock said. “We have looked at those agencies and will make the necessary changes to better control the opportunity for fraud.”
Isaacs said she established a new “checks and balances” system as soon as she took over as treasurer.
“That was one of the very first things I implemented,” Isaacs said.
Isaacs said now the county’s financial statements are handled and overseen by no fewer than three people, including herself.
“To us, it wasn’t a major weakness, and I wanted to see that corrected,” Isaacs said. “We wanted things to be tighter.”
Edelen issued similar comments about the Pulaski County Detention Center’s financial statements.
“Our review of internal controls for all jail commissary operations determined there is a lack of adequate segregation of duties because the former bookkeeper was primarily responsible for preparing deposits, preparing daily checkout sheets, preparing disbursement checks, posting to the receipts and disbursement ledgers, generating monthly reports, preparing monthly sales tax returns, preparing the monthly financial statements, and reconciling the bank account,” Edelen stated in the report. “Although other employees assisted the bookkeeper, there was no oversight or independent review of the bookkeeper’s responsibilities.”