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Mapleton receives low risk score on fraud risk assessment

By Kelcie Hartley - | Jun 30, 2022

Connor Richards, Daily Herald file photo

Mapleton Mayor Dallas Hakes delivers the State of the City address before a group of residents on Thursday, March 12, 2020.

Mapleton City received a “low risk” score on the fraud risk assessment from the Utah State Auditor. Bryce Oyler, the city’s finance director, led a discussion on the city’s assessment results during the regular June 15 council meeting.

“Mapleton City has low risk of fraud within the city,” Oyler said. “It’s really important to point out that we can’t mitigate against all fraud. There’s always a chance of fraud, but because of our separation of duties, written policies that set expectations and items like our fraud hotline and our audit committee, we do have a low assessment for fraud risk. We are doing very good with the size of our city and the resources we have to keep that risk low.”

The city’s separation of duties, written policies and fraud hotline were a great help to the city’s score, according to the presentation.

Councilwoman Jessica Egbert said she thinks the city’s ranking is great, but hopes to see it hit the lowest ranking — very low — in the future. The range for fraud risk is very low, low, moderate, high and very high.

Oyler said the city could boost their score by having an internal audit function and proper training. He personally attends the annual Utah Government Finance Officers Association conference, where he receives about 18 hours of training a year.

“There’s a lot of other training opportunities,” Oyler said. “It’s just a matter of allocating time and money to them.”

His other suggestion involves hiring a part-time auditor.

“This one is a little bit tricky for a city of our size,” he added. “Other cities have positions they can assign the responsibility to, or hire an internal auditor. Spanish Fork, for example, had a part-time employee who would come in to perform the internal audit.”

Oyler said the state’s recommendation was for small cities to reach out to one another and offer to be each other’s internal auditor.

“I’ve tried that, and I haven’t had a lot of success with other cities in our area that want to do that,” he told the council.

If two cities agreed to perform each other’s audit, each city would send an employee for one or two days to perform an annual audit, according to Oyler.

This agenda item was for discussion only. No action was needed from the councilmembers.

In other business, the council approved a resolution to amend the current 2021-2022 fiscal year budget.

The general fund had an expense increase of approximately $400,000 and $3 million needed to be transferred out of the general fund.

“We need to transfer $3 million in order to keep our balance below 35% of our general fund revenues,” Oyler said. “Last year we had $3.2 million in general fund reserves and our limit is $3.1 million. So, to get us below $3.1 million, we want to transfer those funds out. This year, we will probably have $3 million in net revenue over expenditures.”

The city is utilizing approximately $1 million from its water reserves to cover increased operating and capital project costs. Oyler said there would be about $4.4 million in the unrestricted balance from the 2021 audited financials after using the $1 million.

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