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State orders local library to redouble its oversight

– The state has ordered verification of more oversight of payroll and banking procedures at the Allen County Public Library.

The same employee who makes deposits, issues receipts and does the bookkeeping also reconciles the monthly bank statements. In a recent audit by the Indiana State Board of Accounts, state officials advised that the bank reconciliation be reviewed and approved by a second management person.

The state also ordered a system of checks and balances on the library’s payroll.

The employee who reviews time cards for errors and exports the time cards for processing for payroll also reviews the payroll register against the time cards and pay scale of each employee to determine that everything is correct.

Another employee should be performing a second review, and there was no indication that this was being done, state officials said.

David Sedestrom, the library’s chief financial officer and treasurer, said the library has always had a second person review the procedures, but there was no verification.

“We are now putting those steps in place,” he said. “A second person will check and initial all banking statements and deposits and payroll procedures.”

A third measure that library administration needs to put in place is the verification of listed capital assets, state auditors said.

The library lists $89.1 million in capital assets – items valued at more than $5,000 – and the state is asking for verification that all listed assets are in existence and in use.

“We list everything, but again there was no verification that the assets were in use,” Sedestrom said.

In the past, the state auditors physically went to each library branch and verified the assets, but with state budget cuts, their staffing was reduced, he said.

“Now they want us to do that, even though we, too, have suffered funding cuts,” Sedestrom said.

But the library has found a way to comply, even with reduced and limited staff, he said.

“We are going to hand that job to our summer interns,” Sedestrom said.