Taylor Releases Federal Hocking Local School District Audit

Spotlights areas for improvement for school system in fiscal watch

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Athens County -

State Auditor Mary Taylor released the fiscal year 2006 audit for Federal Hocking Local School District recommending ways the school district could improve its financial situation.  The district was placed on fiscal watch status March 20, 2007 due to a deteriorating financial condition.

“We take every opportunity we can to help a school in fiscal crisis,” said Taylor.  “With the proper assistance and determination a school district can be back on solid financial ground in a matter of time.”

The following issues were noted in the audit.

• The former treasurer was overpaid $435.56.  This money must be repaid to the district.  This issue has been referred to the Ohio Attorney General’s office.
• Liabilities in the amount of $86,142 were not recorded until fiscal year 2007.
• The district did not regularly update its five-year financial forecast.

The Ohio Department of Education placed Federal Hocking Local School District in fiscal caution on October 18, 2006.  The district has been elevated to fiscal watch because of its failure to submit a plan to improve its financial situation.  The district forecasts a deficit of $282,000 and $1,466,000 for fiscal years 2007 and 2008.
Fiscal watch status requires that the school district submit a financial plan within 60 days to the Ohio Department of Education.  If they are unable to submit an acceptable plan, the school district will be placed in fiscal emergency within 120 days.

The Ohio Auditor of State’s Office is one of the largest accounting offices in the nation.  The office strives to ensure that all public funds are spent legally and appropriately and works aggressively to root out fraud, waste and abuse in public spending. Taylor encourages anyone suspecting fraud or misspending of public dollars to contact her office toll free at 1-866-FRAUD-OH (1-866-372-8364).

A full copy of the fiscal watch declaration is available online at http://www.auditor.state.oh.us/AuditSearch/Reports/2007/Federal_Hocking_LSD_06-Athens.pdf