Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway today released an audit of Linn County government, highlighting a need for increased measures to protect citizen data in the property tax system, a component of the county’s computer system. Auditors found multiple employees of the collector treasurer’s office shared log-in information, increasing the risk of unauthorized access to the system.
“Any time employees have access to sensitive information, it’s critical safeguards are in place to keep taxpayer data secure,” Auditor Galloway said. “If a breach occurs in an office where employees share user IDs and passwords, it can be difficult to determine what led to the breach, and how to prevent it in the future.”
Auditors also found employees’ access rights in the property tax system allowed them to change individual tax records, creating a possibility of misuse. In the sheriff’s office, auditors raised concerns about inadequate oversight of seized property. Although the sheriff indicated his office maintains an evidence log and destruction orders for seized property, he was unable to find the log or orders. Additionally, auditors recommended new procedures to ensure accurate recording of receipts for money received by the county clerk and collector-treasurer and to segregate duties or increase reviews of accounting and bank records in the prosecuting attorney’s office.
The audit, which received an overall rating of “good,” can be found online here.