Local News

Fuel audit reveals sloppy county bookkeeping

SEBRING A May 20 audit of fuel usage by Highlands County employees found four old and new problems. Among the continuing exceptions discovered by the clerk of court’s auditor was the failure of employees to input odometer readings when they refuel vehicles; 613 transactions were recorded with odometer readings of zero; another 674 transactions did not update the previous odometer reading. Of those 613 odometer readings, nearly half were not county-owned vehicles, said Road and Bridge Superintendent Kyle Green. “Some were from outside agencies who utilize the county’s fueling sites.” As for the other half, Green said, “Administration considers this to be extremely important and is addressing the issue. The Fuel Management software provides an avenue to supervisory staff to review employee data and, if necessary, discipline employees who are not correctly inputting information into the system.”
However, Green added, “Overall, the fuel management and utilization processes appear to be functioning as intended.” Another problem noted by the auditor: employee keys were not deactivated when they were terminated. “All 11 individuals who separated employment during this period turned in their user key to their respective supervisor,” Green said. “No keys were used after the employee separation date. It was an oversight as to why the keys were not officially deactivated. Moving forward, with an improved notification process, key deactivation will be more prevalent.” A third exception: “Adjustments to the fuel volume in three warehouses were required in five instances.” “The county has approximately 22 fuel warehouses, ranging from larger mobile fuel trucks to portable tanks in pickup trucks,” Green said. “Most of the exceptions are related to manual transactions. Yes, it is possible numbers may have been written down incorrectly and as a result, adjustments had to be made to get inventory back in line.” The fourth problem identified three warehouses with “inventory volume greater than physical tank capacity” in the third quarter, and eight in the fourth quarter. “There may be an impact with the timeliness of the manual transaction information being updated to the inventory system,” Green said. “There are several employees who have a part in inputting the manual information recorded.”


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