ST. GEORGE, Utah — Washington County officials say they’ll make changes recommended by state auditors who found shortcomings in financial accountability for the county’s mostly volunteer search and rescue operation.

The Spectrum newspaper reports that auditors found that nearly half of the $279,000 spent on the program’s operations between August 2013 and August 2017 went into a separate account that didn’t undergo regular budgetary oversight procedures as required by state law.

The auditor’s report also indicates the program relied on hard-to-track gift cards to reimburse employees, that vehicle transactions made for Search and Rescue equipment hadn’t received required approvals of the county commission, and that at least one county employee used county equipment for incidental personal use.

County officials say they’ll implement the recommended changes but don’t believe any intentional wrongdoing took place.

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