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Bids being taken for
fire department audit

by Ivan Foley
Landmark reporter

The process for a potential audit of the Central Platte Fire District is underway.

Bids from certified public accountants are now being accepted by the fire district’s board of directors.

The board--consisting of Paul Regan, Andy Stanton and Mike Ashcraft--recently voted unanimously to advertise for bids from firms qualified to conduct an audit of the department.

Exactly what type of audit will be sought is still up in the air, as the board is leaving its options open as to how in-depth it wants the study to be.

“At a minimum, the board seeks a review of its balance sheet, with related statements of income, retained earnings, and cash flows and the issuance of an accountant’s report,” states the request for bids.

But prices on a more detailed audit are also being requested. That audit would need to meet Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards, according to the bid request.

The period to be covered in the audit will be a three-year time frame covering from Jan. 1, 2009 to Dec. 31, 2011.

In addition to advertising the notice for bids in area newspapers, Mark Hubbard, attorney for the fire board, said he was aware of several auditing firms that have done governmental audits for other entities he represents. Hubbard said he will notify those firms of the opportunity to bid on Central Platte’s audit.

At its December meeting, Ashcraft mentioned that the board--if it doesn’t like the pricing options submitted by bidders--could still decline to have an audit of any type done. Others quickly mentioned that with so much public discussion about the pros and cons of an audit, to not proceed could be interpreted by the public that the board “has something to hide.”

An audit of the district has never been performed in its 30-year history, the board says. The district is not required to have an audit because its tax revenue is less than the minimum amount required for a mandatory review per state statute.

The deadline for firms to submit bids is Feb. 1.

Bids should be submitted to Central Platte Fire District, PO Box 1638, Platte City, Mo. 64079.