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Joplin state audit follow-up officially begins next week - KOAM TV 7

Joplin state audit follow-up officially begins next week

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Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway
Joplin, MO -

The Missouri State Auditor's Office prepares to officially begin a follow-up audit on the City of Joplin.  Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway says the follow-up audit will officially start at next week's city council meeting.  The initial audit report was released last August, and some city council members told us then that the report was only a matter of opinion from the auditor.

So, what can the public expect from this follow-up audit?

Time has moved on since Galloway released the initial report.  But has there been progress, and has the City of Joplin addressed the numerous infractions cited by the auditor?

"I'd say most of them have been," says Joplin City Manager Sam Anselm.

Speaking to us through Skype, Galloway says she expects more than most of her office's recommendations being followed.

"We expect all of our recommendations to be implemented," says Galloway.

Galloway further says there's been enough time for the city to, at the very least, show proof of working towards implementing all of her office's recommendations.

"I do understand that changes don't happen overnight, and they do take time.  And that's why, in our follow-up report, we provide a different status of how those recommendations are coming along.  So, we have one status which is not implemented, which means there has not been any movement to move forward with implementing that recommendation.  Then we have partially implemented, all the way up to fully implemented," says Galloway.

Galloway says though her office will be looking for the city's conformity to all of the auditor's recommendations, first and foremost:  The city should be fully following Missouri's Sunshine government transparency law.

The initial audit report on the city included several violations of the Sunshine Law.

"That is troubling, because that is how citizens understand how their government operates," says Galloway.

"I think we've certainly done the best we can. I know the city attorney's office has made some improvements in that.  We have some training coming up in April for elected officials and staff that we've invited to attend, as well," says Anselm.

There's no word yet on how long the follow-up audit will last, but Galloway hopes to give an update of the follow-up audit to the media by late April.

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