Taylor Releases New Philadelphia Performance Audit

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Tuscarawas County -

Auditor of State Mary Taylor today released a performance audit of the city of New Philadelphia that recommends different ways the city water, sewage and sanitation departments can save public tax dollars and improve overall efficiency. The report, conducted at the request of city officials, outlines several recommendations that could potentially save taxpayers approximately $147,000 annually.

“City officials in New Philadelphia should be commended for seeking the assistance of our independent, objective auditors to identify ways to improve services and reduce costs,” Taylor said. “This performance audit provides New Philadelphia with additional information to support decision making, however hard work and many tough decisions remain.”

City officials requested the performance review as a way to improve operations and cut costs in the water, sewage and sanitation departments. The audit outlines several recommendations city officials should consider to save $147,000 annually. These recommendations include:

  • Establishing a formal system for setting water, sewage and sanitation rates
  • Developing and implementing a comprehensive strategic plan
  • Adjusting staffing levels in the utility billing office and adjusting compensation levels for water, sewage and sanitation employees, based on comparisons with peer cities

Meanwhile, Taylor’s office also developed a long-term, financial forecast of the city’s water, sewage and sanitation departments. The three forecasts reveal potential deficits for most of the review period through 2013. The city can use the three forecasts as a framework for identifying strategies to avoid the projected deficits.

Performance audits report on the efficiency and effectiveness of government operations through peer comparisons and benchmarking to industry standards. A performance audit is a valuable tool for agencies seeking to improve operations, identify cost savings and make better use of existing resources.

Since taking office, Taylor has released 54 performance audits outlining 2,060 recommendations for improvements. Those recommendations, if fully implemented, could result in potential cost savings of more than $95 million annually.

A copy of the complete audit is available online at www.auditor.state.oh.us.