County Fiscal Coordinator Role

Both the Internal Audit and Extension Review teams found lapses in fiscal management that cannot be tolerated. In response, College and Extension administration are standardizing oversight at the county level through County Managers, for counties that choose that option, and County Fiscal Coordinators, for counties without County Managers. Oversight at the county level will lead to improved compliance. To view the role description, visit https://cafebusinesscenter.ca.uky.edu/files/county_fiscal_coordinator_responsibilities.pdf.

These outlined responsibilities are not an increase in what should have been the County Fiscal Coordinator role. We have standardized the responsibilities with an official role responsibility outline.

No. These agents will continue to fulfill the role as they always have, so there will be no additional compensation.

Yes. MJRs are being revised to include all County Fiscal Coordinator responsibilities (fiscal, support staff, and councils). The percentages have not been determined yet but will released soon.

Yes. A rotation system will be in place, however, the rotation will not happen as often. The exact schedule has not been determined yet.

Yes. New trainings are being prepared for agents in the County Fiscal Coordinator role. These trainings will cover fiscal management, Kentucky Revised Statutes, and all University, College and local policies and procedures. These trainings will help agents feel confident with these new responsibilities. All agents will be invited to take part in these trainings to understand the requirements and responsibilities of the role.

The goal is to have MJRs updated and agents trained by July 1, 2018.

Yes. The County Fiscal Coordinator will review and approve travel.

The District Director will continue to supervise the County Fiscal Coordinator.

Similar to the County Fiscal Coordinator, this role will help to ensure proper fiscal compliance, something that the Internal Audit and Extension Review teams found was lacking. To view the updated role description, visit https://cafebusinesscenter.ca.uky.edu/files/county_bookkeeper_responsibilities.pdf.

Yes. MJRs are being revised to include these responsibilities for County Bookkeepers. The percentages have not been determined yet but will released soon.

Yes. New trainings are being prepared for support staff in the County Bookkeeper role. These trainings will cover fiscal management, Kentucky Revised Statutes, and all University, College and local policies and procedures. These trainings will ensure that support staff feel confident with these new responsibilities.

The role descriptions are available on the Extension Financial Operations website at: https://cafebusinesscenter.ca.uky.edu/extension-financial-operations under the Policies, Procedure, and Guidelines link.

The trainings for these roles are still being developed. However, you can locate up-to-date information on the Extension Financial Operations website at: https://cafebusinesscenter.ca.uky.edu/extension-financial-operations.

Frequently Asked Questions - County Managers

The County Manager position has been designed to relieve the workload of District Directors and Agents by supervising county operations and addressing personnel matters within the county offices. One County Manager, hired outside of the Review process, is already in place in Boone County. Several counties plan to begin the process of hiring county managers and will pilot the process.

It is important to remember that hiring a county manager is a recommendation, not a mandate. While the College administration sees great value in that position, counties are not required to fill it. However, counties opting not to hire a county manager will need to develop and implement effective strategies to ensure appropriate fiscal oversight and effective human resources management. 

Counties opting to hire county managers will fund those positions locally. Extension Administration is currently working with County Extension Councils and District Boards who wish to have their own County Manager. There may be opportunities for counties to work together in order to fund a position that serves multiple counties as a method of reducing costs to each participating county.

Counties opting not to hire a county manager must develop alternative methods of ensuring fiscal compliance using existing employees.  The College administration is reviewing the role of the Fiscal Coordinator to make certain that the responsibilities assigned to that position promote fiscal compliance.  That position will assume primary responsibility for day-to-day financial management at the county level.  

Counties are not required to hire county managers.  Counties opting not to hire a county manager must develop alternative methods of ensuring fiscal compliance using existing employees.  The College administration is reviewing the role of the Fiscal Coordinator to make certain that the responsibilities assigned to that position promote fiscal compliance.  That position will assume primary responsibility for day-to-day financial management at the county level.

Yes, as counties hire County Mangers, the Support Staff and Fiscal Coordinators responsibilities will be covered by the position, eliminating the need. In counties that do not have a county manager, the Fiscal Coordinator role will be asked to take on additional responsibilities to increase financial accountability. While Extension is increasing financial oversight, it’s important to keep in mind that ALL agents and staff will be expected to conform to the University and Extension Financial Guidelines. (Note: program area support staff will be supervised by the appropriate program area agent.)

Yes, County Managers will have the responsibility to supervise agents and most support staff. Program area support staff/assistants will continue to be supervised by agents.

This process has not been finalized, but Extension Administration anticipates gathering input from County Extension Councils regarding qualities and strengths needed. The position would then be posted, applications screened and interviews conducted by the Extension Administrative Team.

This is dependent on many factors, but somewhere between an Agent and District Director’s salary.

No this should not be necessary. They will need some space to work out of, but County Managers will need to be flexible.

Frequently Asked Questions - Action Plan

In late 2016, The College of Agriculture, Food and Environment was charged by the UK Provost to conduct a comprehensive review of the Cooperative Extension Service. The review followed a recurring budget cut of $2.6 million from Extension field programs and coincided with an audit of county operations by the university’s Internal Audit Division. Specifically, the review examined these areas.

  • Organization - How Extension is structured, both administratively and at the county level;
  • Financial Accountability - How Extension handles fiscal management of state and county funds;
  • Programming - How Extension establishes programmatic priorities and delivers its programming;
  • Communication, Marketing and External Relations - How Extension defines its return on investment, communicates its successes to stakeholders and disseminates information throughout the organization, e.g. programming, compliance, diversity, business practices, etc.

An initial draft of the Extension Review was shared on August 14, 2017. After collecting feedback from employees and others, the Review Committee revised some pieces and released a final action plan on December 12, 2017.

After the Extension Review was released, the recommendations were distilled into action items by College administration. These action items form the draft Action Plan. Some items have been completed, others are scheduled to be completed in 2018 and others are long term goals. The action plan is very much in development and still only in draft form.

Several items from the Extension Action Plan have been addressed:

  • Hired Extension Director of Financial Operations (EDFO) – Chris Shotwell
  • Hired Regional Fiscal Compliance Officer – Ty Back
    • Two more Regional Fiscal Compliance Officers are scheduled to be hired in 2018
  • Hired Extension Marketing Manager – Hayley Pierce
  • Programming for Kentucky Association of Counties in 2018 has been arranged
  • Needs Assessment Steering Committee Chairs have been selected – Lori Garkovich and Rick Maurer
  • Needs Assessment Steering Committee members have been selected –
    • Ann Porter, State Extension Council
    • Julie Brown, KAE4-HA
    • Al Cross, UK School of Journalism and Media
    • Nicole Gauthier, KASEP
    • Drew Graham, College of Agriculture, Food and Environment
    • Jill Harris, KAEFCS
    • Janet Johnson, Retired County Extension Agent (FCS)
    • Natasha Lucas, Extension District Director
    • Linda McClanahan, KACAA
    • Deborah Reed, UK College of Nursing
    • Louie Rivers, Kentucky State University Cooperative Extension
    • Lori Garkovich, Extension Faculty
    • Rick Maurer, Post-retirement Extension Faculty
    • Gary Palmer, Interim Associate Dean and Extension Director
    • Tim West, College of Agriculture, Food and Environment

Empowering Local Leaders Training for County Extension Councils across the state

The Needs Assessment Steering Committee began meeting in January. At least one additional Regional Fiscal Compliance Officers will be hired in 2018. A Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form is being developed and will be completed by all employees beginning in 2018.

No. The Needs Assessment is an in-depth process that will look at the counties in a much deeper way than the typical four-year Plan of Work process. A steering committee has been assembled to determine how the Needs Assessments will be conducted.

The County Needs Assessment Steering Committee began working in January 2018. They expect to finish in April 2018. Their recommendations will then be reviewed by Extension Administration.

The County Needs Assessment process is still being developed. Once the process is in place, we should have a better idea of the timeline. However, this is a process that we would like to implement quickly across the state.