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AMADOR COUNTY TREASURER AND TREASURY OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE

Authority for Review

Grand Jury jurisdiction provided by Penal Code Section 925.

Background

Periodic review of County agencies.

Method of Review

Interview with County Treasurer-Tax Collector
Interview with County Auditor
Review of documents including Treasurer's Annual Statement of Investment Policy for 1996, June 1996 monthly balance sheet, and quarterly investment report
Review of applicable California Government Codes (see Appendix)

Findings

In Amador County the positions of Treasurer and Tax Collector are combined into a single position. The office comes up for election every four years.

The Treasurer is responsible for the cash management programs of the County and acts as the depository in trust for all funds of county school districts, special districts and county funds.

Investments are chosen by the Treasurer with the following criteria in mind, in order of greatest importance: legality of investment, safety of investment, liquidity of investment, and return on investment. State law also limits the type of investments that can be made.

The investment policies of the Treasurer are reviewed by the Treasury Oversight Committee. The Committee serves in an advisory capacity only by reviewing and reporting on the investment policy of the treasurer.

The benefit of a treasury oversight committee became evident following the financial difficulties suffered by Orange County, California, under the county treasurer's investment policies. Legislation enacted in 1995 requires that every county investing funds must form a treasury oversight committee.

In Amador County the Treasury Oversight Committee consists of three members: the County Treasurer, the County Auditor, and the Superintendent of Public Education.

Members of the Oversight Committee are nominated by the Treasurer and confirmed by the Board of Supervisors. The law allows the Treasury Oversight Committee to include up to eleven members from various specific groups including up to five members of the public.

The Oversight Committee is required to initiate an annual audit to insure compliance with the law governing investment of funds. The Treasurer is required to prepare an annual investment policy and quarterly investment reports for review by the Committee and the Board of Supervisors.

The Amador County Treasury Oversight Committee meets quarterly. The meetings are required to be open to the public and subject to the Brown Act.

Conclusions

The Treasurer has established an investment policy that seeks to comply with the laws regulating the investment of funds.

The investment policy of the Treasurer, while conservative, strikes a conscientious balance between the safety of county funds and earning a reasonable return on invested funds.

The Treasury Oversight Committee has been established and is scheduled to meet as required by law.

The Treasury Oversight Committee is solely composed of County administrative employees. The Committee would benefit from direct public input.

Recommendation

In furtherance of public participation in government, the Board of Supervisors and Treasurer should appoint one to five public members to the Oversight Committee as allowed by Government Code Section 27132(g).

Response Required

The Amador County Grand Jury requests the Amador County Board of Supervisors and Treasurer respond within 90 days as required by Penal Code Section 933(c).
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