State Audit

FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) – A scathing audit of Owsley County Clerk Shanna Oliver’s 2017 financial statement has turned up 15 findings, a number that are being referred to the attorney general, Department of Local Government and the Kentucky Department of Revenue.

     According to a report released by State Auditor Mike Harmon on Monday, many of the findings were repeats from the 2016 audit, chief of which was, “The county clerk is not fulfilling her duties as an elected county official.”

     It noted state law, “gives the state local finance officer authority to prescribe a uniform system of accounts, which sets certain minimum accounting requirements for local officials.  The county clerk is not meeting these requirements and other statutory requirements.”

     Those requirements included:

--Failure to submit quarterly reports to the Department for Local Government.

--She did not settle her account and remit excess fees to the fiscal court by March 15, 2018.

--The county clerk’s office did not reconcile her official bank account to financial records.

--Did not pay legal process taxes or transfer taxes, along with delinquent tax and tangible tax payments to taxing districts in a timely fashion.

--Failed to pay affordable housing trust fund fees timely.

--The county clerk did not prepare franchise tax bills timely.

     The report said, “The county clerk does not devote sufficient time to financial reporting and has not implemented policies and procedures to ensure all financial activity is compiled and reported timely. Additionally, the county clerk has failed to implement policies and procedures to ensure taxes are distributed to taxing districts timely.

     “The county clerk is in violation of many statutes that govern fee office operations.  Most importantly, taxing districts (state, county, school, library, health department, extension district, conservation, etc.) are owed substantial amounts of taxes and have been deprived of these resources for a significant time.”

     Harmon’s office recommended Oliver take immediate action to remedy the issues and to implement policies and procedures for her office to ensure these issues are corrected for future periods.

     Six of the findings are being referred to the Department for Local Government, five to the Attorney General’s office and four to the Department of Revenue.

     Oliver declined comment on the findings of the report.

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