INDEPENDENCE COUNTY, AR (KAIT)- Independence County officials have taken action, after tens of thousands of gallons of gasoline turn up unaccounted for.
Since County Judge Robert Griffin came into office this past January, he's spent time going through previous budgets and expenses to evaluate how things have been functioning, which ended up pumping out an issue with fuel intake. "Last year we bought like 212 thousand of gallons of gas total, but on these recap sheets we only found to have used only 182 thousand. So it left like 30 thousand gallons that we unaccounted for.," said Griffin.
Griffin says in the past, the amount of gasoline that is used by various departments in the county has been documented by recap sheets. A format that has left room for error.
"Whether it be a number put down wrong or simply forgetting. Maybe the guys are backed up and somebody is needing the fuel pump. Well, they fill up and say I'll move it real quick, but then turn around and say "well I'll write it down later." said Griffin.
Each department is budgeted with a certain amount of fuel each year. Griffin says the problem is all departments pull from the same fuel and billed through the County Road Department.
The recap sheets are what specify how much the other departments are required reimburse the Road Department for their gasoline. "In the event these other departments had used their share, then you could have the Road Department loosing a substantial amount of money that could be used on roads that we very much needed," said Griffin.
Griffin recently installed a new piece of technology to help better regulate how much gasoline each department uses. "By going to the card swipe readers, with each individual that has access to fuel has a personalized card," said Griffin. The card is literally used like a credit card. All it takes it a quick swipe and then enter in the appropriate information. A print out each month will help county officials accurately access the fuel intake. "This gives it the personal touch. That person knows they're being accountable," said Griffin.
Griffin says it's the county's money, and it's important to hold accountable the way it's being spent.