CLARKSBURG -- Officials have started working on implementing recommendations from a state financial review that highlighted numerous issues with the town's record-keeping practices.
Selectmen met earlier this week with Town Administrator Tom Webb and other employees to review the 30-page Financial Management Review by the state Department of Revenue (DOR).
Selectmen requested the report be compiled after town officials discovered financial discrepancies while creating the fiscal 2014 budget in February. Among the discrepancies were funds from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) deposited into the town's general fund. The money was meant for other entities, including $1,956.55 for the Clarksburg Fire Company and $866.58 for the Berkshire Regional Emergency Planning Committee.
Much discussion was had in Monday's meeting on improving security in Marsh's workspace, an "open, unsecured office area." Marsh said she was moved there because of heating issues in a previous secured office.
While some discussion was spent on the possibility of providing Marsh with a locked safe, officials decided to look into addressing the heating issues and moving the accountant's office back to the previous space.
In other concerns from the review, officials appeared to be in agreement that a bylaw limiting members of the Finance Committee to six-year terms should be revisited.
"In many communities, they don't have them," Webb said. "I'm not sure why it got voted into the town bylaws, but it did quite some time ago."
The report references an incident last year when three long-standing members of the Finance Committee were forced to resign after it was discovered their terms had expired according to the bylaw.
A portion of the meeting was also spent discussing staff training in SoftRight accounting software. The report recommends ways that Marsh and McGovern can use the software more efficiently, including using a built-in cashbook to track receipts and payments.
Webb noted that on June 18, Town Meeting appropriated $2,000 from the town's stabilization account for more software training for both McGovern and Marsh.
Webb said he is researching an Internet policy to address a concern over protecting passwords.
"Some of these policies I'm going to try to get from different towns, and see if they have them in the works already," he said.
Webb said he has already contacted students from McCann Technical School about creating a town website -- another recommendation in the report -- but students would not work on it until school returns to session this fall.
Officials also discussed how to implement a recommendation that the accountant create an inventory of assets, including vehicles and equipment. Officials agreed to pursue the report's solution of creating a spreadsheet listing each asset along with a schedule of depreciation and replacement.
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