Since Auditor Faber took office on Jan. 14, 2019, he has worked toward his mission of a more efficient, effective, and transparent state government. Working with the General Assembly and stakeholders from across the state, Auditor Faber shaped an agenda to benefit all Ohioans. Highlights of his accomplishments and initiatives include:
Secured a Local Government Audit Support Fund
An additional $10 million will be available in the state operating budget to help alleviate and maintain the costs of audits for qualifying entities. This fund allows small governments to anticipate audit costs and enables the Auditor’s office to continue the existing subsidy for audit services.
Completed Performance Audits of State Agencies
In the three performance audits of state agencies released since January, the performance team identified roughly $6 million in annual potential savings. Improved management and opportunities to be more efficient and effective are ...the result of our partnerships with state agencies through our performance audits. The positive results of our performance audits has led to proposed legislation to allow more performance audits of institutions of higher education.
Increased Public-Records Compliance Audits and Transparency
After increasing the frequency of public-record compliance audits, the office wants to take it a step further. Launching later this fall, the Star Rating System (StaRS) will look for best practices in public-records services and ...create an opportunity for public entities to move beyond compliance. This adds an incentive for entities to be more transparent and creates ease of access to public records.
Issued More than 85 Findings for Recovery
Ohioans must be able to trust elected officials to be responsible with their hard-earned tax dollars. Any abuse or public corruption will not be tolerated. The office has issued over 85 findings for recovery totaling ...over $4 million of misspent tax dollars. The Auditor’s Special Investigations Unit has played a prominent role in cases across the state, leading to the restoration of public money and the removal of crooked officials from their positions.
As part of our continued crackdown on fraudulent and unethical officials, we supported and helped draft Senate Bill 10 to increase penalties for theft in office of over $7,500.
Advocated for Higher Education Affordability
As student debt continues to rise and the number of students attending Ohio’s colleges declines, we are at a unique crossroads in higher education. Ohio is ranked 13th in the nation for students graduating with the most debt — and tuition ...costs continue to increase. Senate Bill 120 removes the cap on the number of performance audits that may be conducted on institutions of higher education per biennium, and our office plans to increase the number of those audits in search of efficiencies that can translate to cost savings for students. In the performance audit of Ohio State University’s IT and Shared Services, we identified over $6 million in savings. This is just the tip of the iceberg. From large urban universities to small rural community colleges, there are savings to be found.
Auditor Faber has visited multiple 2- and 4-year universities across the state. He continues to meet with presidents and chief financial officers to discuss cost-saving initiatives for students. As President of the Ohio Senate, Auditor Faber issued the 5% Challenge to state colleges and universities to cut the cost of a degree for students. This resulted in a statewide average of 11.7% in savings for students.
Consolidated Space at Downtown Columbus Location
With a changing work environment that allows remote work locations and our mission to be more efficient and effective, we have reduced our footprint in our Downtown location and evaluated space in our eight regional offices. At the end ...of FY19, the Auditor of State occupied 68,519 square feet in the Key Bank Building in Downtown Columbus at an annual cost of $949,673.34. In FY20 the space will be reduced 11,064 square feet to 57,455 square feet at an annual cost of $833,097.50.
Enhanced Career Prep Programs
Auditor Faber initiated more opportunities for young people to become acquainted with the office through internships and educational programs. In addition to revamping the internship and fellowship programs this fall, the office will welcome four student workers from Cristo Rey High School in Columbus.
Since Jan. 14, 2019:
- Released 85 findings for recovery totaling $4 million
- Saved $116,575 by reducing office space
- Traveled to 8 regional offices
- Visited 30 counties
- Identified savings of more than $6 million in state agencies
- Continued working 140 investigations in SIU
- Welcomed 600 attendees at the local government officials conference