February 28, 2013

Weir addresses problems found in state audit

James Bright, Managing Editor,
The Express-Star

CHICKASHA — Grady County Sheriff Jim Weir is working to improve problem areas in his department that a December state audit said were left by his predecessor.

The audit stated that no proper inventory system existed in the sheriff's office and regular deposits and receipt drop offs were not being taken to the county treasurer.

Weir said until he took office, inventory was basically filed in a book with no real way of telling which department the product belonged to. He said he is currently working on developing a system where every item valued at $500 or more will be filed and categorized according to its type.

He said he's also looking at a process used by the emergency management office that would use metal plates with serial numbers to identify inventory.

Weir said he does not have a date for the completion and implementation of this system, but other departments may be able to implement similar standards once the system is up and running.

Regarding regular deposits with the treasurer, Weir said in the audit he would make daily deposits to the treasurer's office.

Although not daily, County Treasurer Robin Burton said the sheriff's office has made some deposits.

Weir said the department doesn't take in enough money to deposit daily, but has worked to keep deposits and receipt devilries current when applicable.

"The despots are like finger print fees and receipts for something the department purchases," Weir said.

Weir said he has also gone through the proper channels to collect the money raised during the his department's February fund raiser.

"Even though all that money was donated, it had to be approved by the county commissioners before it goes to the county treasurer and then she has to deposit it," he said.

Weir also requested the state auditor's office do an incoming audit when he took office, but was denied the service.

"At least we saved the $2,000," he said.

Weir said he recognizes the importance of the auditing system in county government.

"I think we have to have a state auditor," he said. "Without the auditor it would be like a police department trying to police itself," he said.

Although Weir said he was unsure whether a county auditor system would be good for Oklahoma, he could see some value for his and other departments.

"It might be helpful with other agencies that need to set up a good auditing system, but it would still need to be regulated by state auditing services," he said.