Summit County, UT (January 8, 2019) — Summit County, along with all counties in Utah and encouraged by the State Auditor’s Office (SAO), has completed a financial Fraud Risk Assessment this past December. This tool, issued by the SAO, is used to evaluate risk levels in counties and municipalities across the state. It ensures that appropriate financial controls and policies are in place to help prevent and mitigate fraud.
Summit County leaders are committed to providing essential accountability and transparency over all government programs while upholding ethical behavior and the public trust. The County frequently engages in continuous improvement efforts as a way to strive for excellence in this area. Based on the feedback shared by County leaders in response to the questionnaire issued by the SAO, Summit County leaders have determined the County’s risk level is "very low."
“The Summit County Council believes strongly that County staff and elected officials should conduct themselves in an ethical and transparent manner, and we have been pleased to see our County Treasurer and County Auditor regularly update and implement policies, procedures and controls that support ethics, transparency and accountability concerning the use of Summit County property and funds. We welcome the State Auditor’s review and feedback concerning Summit County’s effectiveness in those areas,” said Roger Armstrong, Summit County Council Chair.
Summit County’s system of internal controls follows closely the national standards and guidance provided by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). These standards provide the framework and reference materials to improve accountability and transparency of County finances. Additionally, Summit County frequently evaluates internal practices and procedures against the State Compliance Audit Guide published by the SAO in conjunction with an annual independent audit. As an example of the County’s efforts, Summit County is one of only four counties in the State of Utah that goes through the arduous process of preparing an annual Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for its citizens.
“Summit County takes very seriously the protection of county assets and taxpayer funds, and we use multiple levels of internal financial controls, including separation of duties, multi-layered approval processes, dual payment authorization and cross-reconciliation to assure that protection. We welcome the State Auditor's efforts at assuring this level of safety state-wide,” said Corrie Forsling, Summit County Treasurer.
With that being said, Summit County has taken additional measures to enhance internal controls based on guidance from the SAO’s Fraud Risk Assessment Implementation Guide. Among the enhancements being made is an established fraud hotline where employees and members of the public can send anonymous complaints. The County has also worked to ensure that the County Council, County Manager and all board members of the County’s special service districts have taken the SAO’s online training. Finally, the County is in the process of implementing a 45-minute training requirement for all employees on ethical behavior, utilizing a course provided by the Utah Local Governments Trust.
“We appreciate the efforts of the State Auditor to help promote the protection of taxpayer funds and assets at every level of government statewide,” said Michael Howard, Summit County Auditor.
Summit County Treasurer Corrie Forsling, Summit County Auditor Michael Howard and Summit County Budget Manager Matt Leavitt will present the overall Fraud Risk Assessment findings to the Summit County Council during Wednesday’s County Council meeting. To preview the letter Summit County prepared for the State Auditor’s Office please click here.
About Summit County:
Located in the northeast corner of Utah along the Wasatch Back, Summit County is home to more than 41,000 residents. Created in 1854, Summit County was named for the summits of the mountains, including 39 of the highest mountain peaks in Utah. Six municipalities make up Summit County, including Coalville, Francis, Henefer, Kamas, Oakley and Park City. The county seat is quiet, scenic Coalville, located on the I-80 corridor. For more information visit www.summitcounty.org.
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