2014 Statistical Summary
In order to efficiently discharge the statutory responsibilities outlined in the County Code the controller has organized the office into several distinct departments, each having a specific mission. Each department is listed below along with a brief summary outlining the thrust of each area.
Accounts Payable is responsible for processing all non-payroll expenditures of the county. During 2014, a total of 22,283 checks along with 7,237 ACH transactions were produced to honor 45,965 invoices submitted to our office. The financial impact of these transactions totaled $287,870,200.
Contract Compliance helps fulfill the controller’s responsibility of maintaining original contracts to which the county is a party. More importantly, this department (which is a sub-department of Accounts Payable) processes all requests for payments under a contract and monitors for compliance with all contractual provisions. During 2014, the department oversaw the execution and subsequent activity of over 1,357 open contracts totaling an estimated $144,452,200 million in aggregate county commitments. During 2014, 34,408 pages pages were scanned and indexed. These documents were primarily contracts but also included financial reports, accounts payable documents, audits, and meeting minutes.
General Ledger is the foundation of the county’s accounting system, responsible for the “nuts & bolts” accounting issues, coordinating the work of external auditors, consulting with the County Treasurer and the Department of Financial Administration on a daily basis and coordinating the county’s financial reporting efforts. Financial reporting is an increasingly important aspect of the General Ledger department in that reporting is a primary mode in which public officials demonstrate their accountability to the electorate. The department processed over 9,325 journals containing 289,782 journal entries relating to 2014 activity.
Internal Audit performs audits & reviews of county accounts, agencies and activities in accordance with Government Auditing Standards as issued by the Comptroller General of the United States. During 2014 fifty-two(52) audits or reviews were completed. Of these 52 audits, the majority are statutory audits, including 17 district judge audits and 21 tax collector audits and 6 row office audits. In addition to the 52 audit or reviews, 44 other projects were completed in 2014 resulting in 96 total. Our audit approach serves to strengthen the overall system of internal controls in the areas that are audited as well as areas that are subject to audit.
A Fraud, Waste and Abuse Hotline was established in 2014 to enforce existing controls and to aid in the prevention and detection of fraud, theft, waste, or abuse against the County. Suspected fraud can be reported via phone, mail, online, or email. Tips provided by phone, mail, and online can remain anonymous. All information reported is confidential and all credible reports will be investigated by the Internal Audit Fraud Division or referred to the proper authorities or agencies for further investigation.
Payroll is responsible for compensating approximately 2,000 full-time and part-time employees of the county. During 2014, 50,981 payroll checks (or direct deposit transactions) were processed covering total gross wages of $80,651,512. Approximately 93% of county employees received their bi-weekly pay through direct deposit. Of those transactions, 50% of county employees received an e-stub.
Retirement is responsible for the maintenance of the employee retirement system. In addition to preparing 13,404 retiree payments totaling $22,122,747. for 1,155 retirees, the retirement department maintains the member contributions to the retirement fund, which totaled over $7.6 million dollars during 2014.
In 2014, the Retirement department produced over 500 quotes for members considering or actually retiring. Additionally, an often-overlooked element of retirement administration is the time spent counseling potential retirees on their retirement options as well as helping retirement beneficiaries sort through death benefits and survivors' benefits. Finally, the Retirement Department continued to distribute pension benefit statements to all members who were eligible to vest.
Bid Administration works with the Solicitor and Chief Clerk to conduct the sealed bid process of the procurement function as mandated by the County Code. During 2014 our office processed forty-six (46) sealed bids. We also continued to actively promote the online registration feature of our website, directing vendors to select email or texts as the mode of notification for upcoming bids. Online registration enables vendors to select the categories of bids of interest to them. Our goal is to foster fair competition among vendors which should ultimately result in the procurement of higher quality goods & services at a lower cost to Westmoreland County taxpayers.
Virtual Controller's Office refers to the maintenance of an interactive and informative website. Among the very first departments of the county to present substantive content on the internet, the Controller's Office has consistently ranked as an often utilized county site in terms of web "hits" to the site. Currently, the majority of interest in the Controller's site is focused on the Bid Information System which strives to notify as many interested vendors as possible of upcoming competitive bids for goods and services. The website includes public access to all county contracts. The controller's office is continually researching new strategies to make processes more efficient, more "paperless", and more accessible to the public at large. The controller's office has rolled out a new and improved Bid Management System and we believe it has improved our outreach to vendors in the hopes of promoting greater competition for the opportunity to provide the county with the many goods and services it needs to carry out its mission.