County addresses cash-handling issues

The San Luis Obispo County parks division will train all its lifeguards on how to handle cash, following a county auditor’s report that suggested the move.

As part of its routine financial monitoring of county operations, the county Auditor-Controller’s Department took a look at the parks division’s handling of cash. It conducted the unannounced audit Aug. 2 and 3.

While the auditor’s office found the cash fund and receipts to be in balance, and the parks division in “general compliance” with the county’s cash-handling procedures, it suggested areas for improvement.

Lifeguards who handle cash at the pools were not aware of the county’s cash-handling procedures, San Luis Obispo County Auditor-Controller Gere Sibbach wrote in a report to the county Board of Supervisors, nor were they trained in how to use cash registers.

“As a result, (county) pools experienced a variety of cash-handling errors,” Sibbach wrote.

In addition, the auditor found, one of the pools, in Cambria, did not have a safe, which the county requires to safeguard money overnight.

County General Services Director Janette Pell, who oversees the parks division, wrote in an email to The Tribune that the agency is addressing these issues.

She wrote that the division would implement a comprehensive cash-handling program at the beginning of each season and as needed throughout the season.

“All lifeguards handling cash will receive the training,” Pell wrote, and after they complete it they will sign a letter certifying that they have read the county’s cash-handling policy.

In addition, “we will be purchasing a safe for the Cambria pool,” she wrote.