The State of Montana’s Department of Administration (DOA) put the Glacier County Commissioners on notice the State will begin withholding financial assistance to the County due to the lack of progress made by County officials to correct findings from the FY 2015-16 and FY 2017-18 audits.
DOA also informed the Commissioners it “intends to contract with a third party to perform a review and reconciliation of the County’s cash balance…” which will be paid for by Glacier County and not the State of Montana.
Glacier County is already paying the following individuals to reconcile and address its financial situation:
•Chancy Kittson, Chief Financial Officer, $52 per hour plus all County benefits.
•Rita Newman, Independent Contractor working on the Glacier County EMS finances, $65 per hour.
•Magda Nelson, Independent Contractor, $35 per hour.
•Don Wilson, Glacier County Treasurer, $23.39 per hour plus all County benefits.
Total: $175.39 per hour
In a letter dated July 31, (see page 4 for a copy of the letter) Mike Manion, Deputy Director and Chief Legal Counsel for DOA wrote, “Given the lack of sufficient progress in addressing and accomplishing the major issues that the County agreed to tackle in their CAP (FY 2015-16 Corrective Action Plan)–and the repeat of these issues in the FY 2017-18 audit report–the DOA has no choice but to withhold financial assistance.”
Manion pointed out the County is still unable to provide “accurate cash reconciliations” by the 20th of each month as required by state law. “DOA has received three different reconciliations for February alone, none of which reconcile…”
Manion further stated DOA has yet to receive cash reconciliations for March through June. The County has also not forwarded the required budget expenditure documentation to DOA.
The recently completed FY 2017-18 audit report cited “a substantial doubt of Glacier County’s ability to continue as a going concern…” reminded Manion.
County officials must provide the following no later than Aug. 31 in order to avoid State payments from being withheld:
•Cash reconciliations, without reconciling differences, for February through June 2019;
•Outcome of the Ambulance Fund Accounts Receivables settlement;
•Documented plan to resolve the County’s negative cash balance;
•Documented plan to resolve County funds with cash deficits;
•Draft of balanced operating budget for FY 2019-20, including reserve cash balances.
Manion concluded, DOA wants to help Glacier County “through its financial challenges” and DOA is willing to provide County officials with “whatever assistance we can to help the County meet the deadline.”