Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway today released an audit of the City of Berger located in Franklin County. Residents of the city requested the audit through the petition process.
“This audit was a thorough review of city operations and financial practices, and the report details several areas where improvements can be made to better safeguard taxpayer dollars and increase transparency,” Auditor Galloway said. “I appreciate the responses of Berger city officials, who appear to have already implemented some of the recommendations of our audit.”
The audit recommended increased oversight of financial processes in the city. The city clerk position is responsible for most financial duties of the city and the Board of Aldermen does not ensure there are documented supervisory reviews of these accounting functions. The city clerk also does not issue receipts for most payments. Additionally, the city did not prepare bank reconciliations for the city’s 14 bank accounts. Performing monthly bank reconciliations helps ensure potential accounting errors are identified and quickly corrected.
The audit also found that some closed meetings of the board did not comply with the Sunshine Law. In several cases, the board did not properly document the legal reasons for going into closed session. Additionally, certain topics discussed and voted on in closed session should have been discussed in open session. In addition, due to the pandemic, the board held its regular monthly meetings in April and May as closed meetings instead of open meetings and did not provide an alternative way for the public to access these meetings.
The complete audit report, which received an overall rating of “good” is available here.