An absolute appraisal of acclaim cards for assignment purposes acclimated by Lake Canton Lath members, adopted admiral and departments appear Wednesday showed a cardinal of problems with the system, including centralized ascendancy weaknesses, missing signatures and abortion to clue reimbursements.
A abode presented by the Bronner Group, a Chicago-based consulting firm, to the Canton Board’s Financial and Administrative Lath acquired some lath associates to catechism whether lath associates should alike acquire accretion cards, or p-cards, and whether there should be an audit.
The alfresco analysis came about as a aftereffect of above Lath Administrator Aaron Lawlor’s use of his p-card afterwards he accommodated to seek analysis for an bearding biologic addiction this summer. There is a abstracted Illinois Accompaniment Police analysis into his use of the p-card.
Gila Bronner, admiral and CEO of the company, said consultants best a 12-month appraisal aeon from August 2017 to July 2018 and they looked at 26 cards, or 10 percent of the 260 absolute cards. They called 17 agents cards, four adopted admiral cards with over $7,500 in spending, the lath secretary’s agenda and four added cards from departments based on high-activity levels.
Bronner added they about called a ages of action for anniversary agenda and tracked the agenda account and receipts that were submitted, although they did not verify that appurtenances and casework were received. In all, they analyzed 527 p-card affairs accretion $295,795.
According to the report, p-card use went from $3.7 actor amid Aug. 1, 2014, and July 31, 2015, and again rose to $4.2 actor during the aforementioned time periods in 2015-16, $5.3 actor in 2016-17 and $6.7 actor in 2017-18. Meanwhile, rebates rose during the aforementioned time periods from $44,636 in 2014-15 to $100,941 in 2017-2018.
Some lath associates remarked that they did not apprehend that some vendors action rebates aback application the p-card, and Bronner said that is a accepted convenance because it speeds up the acquittal and is an advantage for governments. Application the agenda additionally provides abstracts analytics for the department, she said.
“We pay a lot of vendors like gas and electric through this program,” said Mike Rummel, armchair of the committee. “Those rebates go aback to the taxpayers.”
But in the observations summary, the Bronner abode begin that p-card action did not consistently associate to accepted practices and “represents an centralized ascendancy weakness.”
For 13 of 26 cards, the abstraction found, the approval signatures were missing from cardholder, acknowledging affair or both aural the transaction analysis sample.
The abode additionally begin delays in appointment acknowledging receipts that resulted in agnate delays in recording expenses, which could potentially adjournment convalescent accompaniment or federal admission funds. In addition, forms for the administration approval of a cardholder and acclaim banned were not consistently on file.
Also, the canton does not systematically actuate whether its vendors acquire acquittal via p-card to optimize rebates, according to the report.
Bronner recommended the canton amend the p-card action to reflect accepted practices and abode articular gaps. “There is a charge to advance p-card centralized controls,” according to the report. The canton additionally lacked academic countywide training affairs for p-card use.
While Bronner said the cards are a admired acquittal apparatus that can account the county, accepted behavior and procedures charge to be adapted and be added comprehensive.
County Lath Affiliate Carol Calabresa, who is acting administrator of the board, accepted the report, and both she and Rummel said they charge to acquisition out added about what assertive costs would be for audits and added consulting advice to apparatus the changes.
“I anticipation the abode was excellent, actually good. My eyes were opened about how important it is to acquire p-cards — it keeps accomplished annal of spending,” she said.
But Calabresa added that aback it came to lath members’ use of the cards, she was critical.
“I didn’t apprehend what blazon of expenditures were submitted. I was abashed at what bodies angry in,” she said, abacus that she didn’t acquire a p-card until she went to a appointment “and I gave aback every time I came home.”
“I was attractive at some (expenditures), and there seems to be claimed expenditures of $2 and $3,” Calabresa said. “That’s what actually anxious me. It’s declared to be acclimated for biking or mailings.
“I would like to see tighter behavior and procedures,” she added, adage she feels “it’s a battle of absorption for the administrator of the lath to assurance off on associates expenditures,” aback it can accord the administrator ability to amplitude associates by captivation aback their approval.
“Maybe we aloof charge one for biking and one for mailings,” Calabresa said. “But somehow we acquire to get a handle on it. It’s not your claimed acclaim card. I came actuality to accomplish government bigger and advice people. You should see some of the expenditures.”
Bronner said some government bodies do aloof acquire single-use cards, such as travel, or ones that can alone be acclimated by preapproval. Lath Affiliate Charles Bartels asked her if the absolute cardinal of p-cards, 260, was the appropriate cardinal or too big or too small.
“We aloof analyzed the behavior and procedures. But it’s actually not a ample number,” she said.
“We charge to fast clue this and put this to lath so we can get recommendations affective forward,” said Rummel.
Board Affiliate Sandy Hart, who has acquaint her expenditures on her website and alternate the card, said “I’d still like to see them alone for Canton Lath members, but not agents and administration heads. I anticipate it’s actually capricious aback you attending at adopted officials.”
“We can be reimbursed for expenses, and it’s abundant easier than block receipts,” Hart added.
While Hart said she didn’t anticipate an analysis of $2 costs was account it, Lath Affiliate Judy Martini said she would abutment an audit.
“How abounding lath associates went over the $7,500 in a one year period?” she said, apropos to the absolute on p-cards for lath members. She additionally ridiculed baby purchases at Starbucks.
“We charge a absolute analogue of what basic casework is,” she said. “Having pens printed up with your name on them is not basic services.”
Calabresa countered that she acquainted new action and procedures would break the problem, and it wasn’t account the analysis for such baby amounts. Lath affiliate Linda Pedersen concurred with her, adage “I anticipate we charge to get tougher with action and procedures, absolutely.”
County Administrator Barry Burton said the all-embracing appraisal would be advised by agents associates for recommendations, and they would appear aback aing anniversary to adjudge on the aisle forward.
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