Cumberland Times-News

July 20, 2013

Garrett County Circuit Court Clerk passes audit

Everything is in order, state representatives determine

Matthew Bieniek
Cumberland Times-News

— OAKLAND — Court clerks in Western Maryland seem to be doing things right, with the Office of the Clerk of Circuit Court for Garrett County joining Allegany County’s clerk’s office with a clean bill of health from state auditors.

The office files, dockets and maintains legal records including real estate titles. Fees for some services are collected by the office and some licenses are issued.

“According to the state’s accounting records, the office’s fiscal year 2012 revenues totaled $6,270,259. These revenues were distributed in the following manner: $3,469,928 was distributed to Garrett County and its incorporated cities and towns ... and $2,800,296 represented revenues available to the state for purposes specified in various provisions of state law,” the audit report stated. The remaining $35 was properly distributed, auditors said.

The office’s operating expenses were also accounted for, auditors said.

 “The office’s fiscal year 2012 operating expenses, which were paid primarily from a general fund appropriation, totaled $700,291. The office also maintained custody of certain trust funds that, according to its records, had balances totaling $47,052 as of April 30, 2013,” according to the report.

“Our audit did not disclose any significant deficiencies in the design or operation of the office’s internal control. Nor did our audit disclose any significant instances of noncompliance with applicable laws, rules or regulations,” according to the audit. The audit was performed by the Office of Legislative Audits of the Department of Legislative Services for the Maryland General Assembly.

Most state and county agencies are audited about once every three years. If there are negative findings, the agency is provided an opportunity to respond. Because the audit made no findings, no response was required by the circuit clerk, the audit report stated.

The current Garrett County circuit clerk is Timothy Miller. He replaced Sondra Buckel, who recently retired. Miller was out of the office and could not be reached for comment Friday.

Contact Matthew Bieniek at mbieniek@times-news.com.