For Immediate Release
Park Board Audit Completed
City of Springfield Internal Auditor Kristy Bork completed an audit report covering operations of the Springfield-Greene County Park Board. The report was accepted by City Council's Finance and Administration Committee on June 7, 2012.
The report suggested opportunities to enhance and further mitigate risks, based on audit objectives. The audit is part of Council's approved annual audit plan and is available on the City's website. Bork will continue to audit other City departments.
The audit covers the Park Board's general operations, including the golf enterprise fund. As the Park Board is an administrative board set by City Charter, the audit only coversoperations and financial transactions for which the City Council has governance.
The overall results of the audit indicate that the control environment at the Park Board is "yellow", a state in which the auditor recommends that controls in place need some improvement.
Bork rated six audit objectives: two were rated at the "green" state, three at the "yellow" state and one at the "red" state. "Green" indicates an overall satisfactory or acceptable state of control, where the environment provides a high degree of assurance regarding the safeguarding of assets, reliability of financial records and compliance with City policies and governmental laws and regulations. A "red" state indicates an unsatisfactory or unacceptable state of control, where significant business risk or exposure to the City requires immediate attention.
A "green" state was indicated for the effectiveness of internal controls over collection, administration and record keeping of the 2001 and 2006 County-wide Park Sales Taxes, and ensuring taxes are being used in accordance with ballot language. A "green" state was also indicated for the effectiveness of internal controls over the approval of purchasing card transactions.
A "yellow" state was indicated for the effectiveness of cash collection procedures; ensuring segregation of duties to minimize risk of loss due to error or theft; controls over park purchases and construction contracts; and controls over budget and spending; to ensure the Park Board is making informed decisions based on the accurate and timely financial information provided by management.
A "red" state was indicated for controls and procedures to record time used for payroll. During the summer months, the Park Board employs more than 700 employees, who are paid every two weeks. The timekeeping process is largely manual and uses paper timesheets. The auditor recommended implementing an automated time system to help better manage wage and hour policies.
The auditor noted other City departments also use manual timesheets and City management is currently developing a plan to move all departments to an electronic time system.
According to Parks Director Bob Belote, Parks currently processes in excess of 15,000 timesheet/payroll transactions annually, with all timesheets being reviewed by Parks Business Operations Staff. Belote further points out, given the vast scope of the operations and employee locations, he agrees an automated self-service time entry would be advantageous to the department.
"We welcome any kind of tool, such as an audit, and a fresh set of eyes looking at our program," Belote explained. "The commitments we've made with the 2001 and 2006 tax initiatives are very important to us, and we are happy to be able to reassure the voters that we've had another objective person look at our operations. We are making real-necessary adjustments and striving to operationalize new ideas from what we've learned."
Councilman Jerry Compton is the chair of City Council's Finance and Administration Committee, which reviewed the audit.
"We appreciate the hard work of our internal auditor. Bob Belote and the Park Board have worked to address the issues and have a plan in place to be able to keep improving," Compton said. "Overall, I think the report is very positive and the Park Board has the tools in place to address any challenges the audit pointed out."
About the Springfield-Greene County Park Board
The Park Board is a nine-member administrative board, established by City Charter, to operate acountywide park system in the City of Springfield and the unincorporated areas of Greene County. As an administrative board, the Park Board is given the authority to enter into contracts, make real estate purchases, and oversee the city-county park system. The Park Board operates more than 100 park sites, including specialty sports and recreation facilities, more than 100 miles of trail opportunities, a zoo and three golf courses.
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