Nebraska State Fair Board responds to audit report on finances

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. — The Nebraska State Fair Board (NSFB) is responding after the Nebraska Auditor of Public Accounts released findings from an investigation into their finances on Tuesday morning.

The board said they plan to institute policies and procedures to tighten internal controls such as supporting documentation for journal entries.

NSFB said this includes, but isn’t limited to:

  • initiation, review and approval of journal entries; a procurement policy;
  • an expense reimbursement policy, including receipt procedures for travel and other purchases;
  • implementation of a vendor approval process wherein vendor research is conducted before relationships are established and/or invoices are paid;
  • a credit card policy

The NSFB said they have already eliminated the use of a signature stamp and is requiring two signatures for checks in the amount of $5,000 or more, drafted a procurement policy, employed a new executive director with extensive budgeting experience and is working on an Request For Proposal (RFP) for an outside accounting firm.

In addition, they said the NSFB’s Finance committee is closely examining the budget and related monthly vendor and other expenditures.

The board said they’re working with their newly hired executive director to quickly and thoroughly assess and implement recommendations from the State Auditor, as well as those from a recent forensic investigation.

“The Nebraska State Fair Board is aware of the State Auditor Report which was released today. The Nebraska State Fair Board is a proud community member and takes seriously any alleged financial concerns within the organization. In recent months, the Board has initiated several steps to ensure accurate financial records and accountability, including initiating a financial audit, cooperating with the State Auditor and local authorities, and instituting financially sound policies and procedures. The Board will continue to take steps to ensure our resources are spent wisely and for the benefit of the Nebraska State Fair, “said Chair Beth Smith.