ST. GEORGE, Utah (ABC4 Utah) A new audit shows a southern Utah school district paid for personal expenses with your taxpayer dollars.
This is the latest audit showing lack of internal control within the Washington County school district. It was initiated after a public complaint regarding the district’s use of tax-funded credit cards.
“The district should not be paying personal expenses with taxpayer funds,” State Auditor John Dougall said.
That’s the bottom line in a report released today by the Office of the Utah State Auditor.
Investigators found 40 percent of “high risk” credit card transactions did not comply with district policies.
Taking a closer look, the audit shows the district paid for family members to fly to a conference, but many didn’t pay back the costs until after the audit began five months later.
The district also automatically paid the business manager’s personal credit card bill. Investigators say this allowed Brent Bills to enhance his rewards points with purchases for the district.
“Those kind of lax procedures cause us concern and it should cause taxpayers concern,” Dougall said.
“It’s not that anything happened that was at risk, they didn’t find anything that was at risk but there are some things that could happen so here are some things we recommend you do,” Washington County School District Business Manager Brent Bills said.
The district is taking the advice they’ve been given seriously, according to Bills, adding he will now be reimbursed for his credit card bill rather than having the district pay it.
“This is a matter of, hey, we need to tighten up some controls here. This is an area we can improve on,” Bills said.
The district says it’s already put in place procedures and is currently training staff on the stricter credit card policies.
This is the latest audit assessed against the district. Several weeks ago, we reported another audit showing problems involving Enterprise High School.