Upon becoming Jackson County Executive in 2007, Mike Sanders made financial oversight and accountability top priorities. According to the 2009 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) released during the County Legislative meeting Monday, August 9, Jackson County has made significant strides in the last three years to get its finances in order.
KPMG of Omaha, Nebraska, performed the independent audit, giving the County an "unqualified" rating, meaning Jackson County has met the highest financial standard set for public and private organizations.
"The County did a very nice job," said KPMG Partner in Charge Shelley Stromp. "Things have improved and gotten better."
Sanders reminded Legislators that the 2007 CAFR included a six-page "management letter," citing numerous problems with the County's internal controls and financial oversight. "In some cases, these issues had been going on a generation or longer," he said.
For promptly addressing those problems and helping write the "success story" that the 2009 CAFR represents, Sanders praised the County Finance Department, under Director Troy Thomas.
"Our Finance Department performs to the highest standards among government agencies in this region," Sanders said. "This is their success story. This is our success story. This is a success story for Jackson County."
Jackson County Chief Administrator Fred Siems note, "The real blatant issues are behind us."
Praise From Legislator
"Looking back at '07 and where we are today, we finally have an organization that's functioning and meeting the criteria at which a first-class institution should operate," added Siems. "It has been a long and difficult journey, but we are there."
County Legislator Bob Spence (6th District), a retired accountant, described himself as being "very, very critical in the past" of the Finance Department. Upon hearing Stromp's testimony August 9, he said, "I have nothing but accolades for Troy and his staff in the Finance Department. This is wonderful, wonderful progress."
Although he pointed out reading an auditor report might not make for riveting reading, Sanders called the 2009 CAFR exciting news that reflects "our County is moving in the right direction."