Auditors criticize over county assessments |

Auditors criticize over county assessments

An audit ordered after county officials complained they have almost no information about how a series of five assessments they pay the state for services are actually used has confirmed that claim.

Legislative auditors found documentation didn’t support the amounts assessed counties and that the calculation of certain youth assessments didn’t comply with state law.

The assessments are collected by the state for community health services, consumer health protection, rural child welfare, youth alternative placement and the youth parole bureau. Altogether, they total more than $20 million a year.

“Counties stated that they pay their annual assessments but receive very little or no correspondence to show how their money is being used and the services being provided to their counties,” according to the audit.

“None of the five county assessments we audited were supported by sufficient underlying records,” the auditors wrote. “Either the documents provided did not support the amounts assessed or supporting documents could not be provided.”

Auditors found that the Division of Public and Behavioral Health incorrectly calculated assessments for Youth Alternative Placement. Elko was under-assessed by $9,182 and Washoe County over-assessed by $13,414 for the past two years.

For Youth Parole, it found that Clark County was under-assessed by $29,549 and Washoe County, again, over-assessed by $45,154.

Auditors called on Public health and the Division of Child and Family Services to develop policies and procedures describing each assessment including how the amounts are calculated and improve record retention so those assessments can be reviewed later.

They also urged state officials to provide counties with information on how the money is used and the services provided.