Matagorda County Appraisal District
Appraisal Standards Review Follow-Up Report
March 27, 2008
Mr. Malcolm Romine, Board Chairman
Mr. Vince Maloney, Chief Appraiser
Matagorda County Appraisal District
2225 Avenue G
Bay City, Texas 77414-5018
Dear Chairman Romine and Chief Appraiser Maloney:
This letter constitutes the Comptroller's follow-up review of the Appraisal Standards Review (ASR) of Matagorda County Appraisal District (Matagorda CAD) originally released in June 2006. We commend the cooperation of Matagorda CAD's board, chief appraiser and staff in conducting this follow-up review.
CADs play an integral part in setting property values because they have the statutory responsibility for determining local property values, which in turn affect funding to public schools.
The ASR made 11 recommendations to help Matagorda CAD achieve accurate local value in the annual Property Value Study and improve operations. The Comptroller acknowledges the work Matagorda CAD has performed over the last year. The CAD has completed recommendations 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11. These completed recommendations have assisted the CAD in improving its staffing, management and appraisal practices.
We also reviewed the implementation of the remaining recommendations. Matagorda CAD has not implemented recommendation 1. Enclosed is more detail on what the CAD still needs to do.
This letter is available on our Window on State Government Web site at www.window.state.tx.us/taxinfo/proptax/cadreports/asr/matagorda01/.
I hope this information is helpful. Please let us know if we can be of any further assistance.
cc: Superintendent and Board of Trustees, Bay City Independent School District;
Tidehaven Independent School District; Matagorda Independent School District;
Palacios Independent School District; Van Vleck Independent School District; and
Boling Independent School District
Matagorda CAD Board of Directors
Matagorda County Appraisal District Appraisal Standards Review Follow-Up Report
What Remains to Be Done
The Comptroller’s office will continue to monitor Matagorda CAD’s progress toward meeting the state’s legal requirements. The following outlines the step Matagorda CAD still needs to take.
Implement a rotation policy for selecting external auditors and regularly review the contract.
The CAD did not document the implementation status of this recommendation. In December 2007, the CAD indicated that it does not have a rotation policy and reiterated its original position that it is not obligated under Property Tax Code Section 6.063(a) and (b) to follow the competitive bidding process in contracting for external auditing services.
As stated in the original finding,
The Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) recommends that state and local governments obtain independent audits of their financial statements in accordance with appropriate professional auditing standards. While professional services such as independent audits are exempt from statutory competitive bidding requirements, GFOA still recommends that governments use a competitive process to select auditors. According to GFOA, the independent auditor ideally should be replaced at the end of each audit contract (GFOA recommends a contract period of five years), as is often the case in the private sector.
GFOA also recommends that governments choosing an external auditor actively seek the participation of all qualified audit firms, including the current one, assuming its past performance was satisfactory.
The CAD can comply with the recommendation by submitting to PTD a rotation policy for selecting external auditors that includes regular contract monitoring by July 31, 2008.