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State Auditors Release Report on Town of Clarks

The Louisiana Legislative Auditor is keeping a close eye on the Town of Clarks in Caldwell Parish after several findings were highlighted on a recent audit.
CALDWELL PARISH -- The Louisiana Legislative Auditor is keeping a close eye on the Town of Clarks in Caldwell Parish after several findings were highlighted on a recent audit.

The audit report states that the town failed to maintain accounting records and had ongoing errors in handling traffic tickets, bank deposits, and posting water and sewage fees. The audit also says the town paid incorrect amounts in payroll taxes.

The audit says, "there is an inadequate segregation of duties over receiving, posting, and depositing 
cash receipts. One person is responsible for all of the above duties.....Due to its small size, the Town does not have an individual with the expertise to perform these intemal control functions effectively."

The audit said the town received a FEMA grant to purchase a fire truck during the last fiscal year. The agreement provided that the federal share of the cost of the vehicle would be 95% and the town's share would be 5%. The actual cost ofthe truck and accessories purchased was $188,703. The federal portion of this vehicle should have been 95% of the total cost or $179,268, but the town requested and received $190,475 in federal funds for the vehicle purchase. 

The audit recommended in the prior year audit report that the town immediately submit the on-line financial status report to close out the grant and follow the recommendations of FEMA to resolve the  finding. During the year ended June 30, 2013, the town received notification from FEMA that based on the information provided in the grant closeout report that the town will be required to return $11,738 of the grant funds. As of June 30, 2013, the audit said the town had not completed the grant closeout report and had not returned any funds to FEMA.

The town responded, saying they're now using new Quickbooks accounting software to better organize. They have also hired a consultant to help the town meet FEMA's requirements and assist in closing out the grant. The town anticipates that this process will be completed by December 31,2013. 

Click on the document link above to read the report.
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