Newton Falls Joint Fire District Financial Records “Unauditable”
Columbus – Incomplete financial records prompted Auditor of State Dave Yost to place the Newton Falls Joint Fire District (Trumbull County) on the “unauditable” list.
“Poorly kept records create a lack of accountability,” Auditor Yost said. “The Newton Falls Joint Fire District must bring its records back to an auditable condition in order to start the audit.”
Prior to the start of the regular financial audit of the Newton Falls Joint Fire District for the period Jan. 1, 2016, through Dec. 31, 2017, the Auditor of State’s office determined that the condition of the fire district’s financial records was not adequate to begin the audit. In a letter to the district, the Auditor’s office provided a list of information required to start the audit.
Within 90 days of the date of the letter, the fire district must revise its financial records and provide the necessary data. Failure to bring accounts, records, and reports to an auditable condition may result in legal action, including the possibility of the attorney general issuing a subpoena to district officials to explain the condition of records. The attorney general may also file suit to compel the officials to prepare and/or produce the required information.
The Auditor’s Local Government Services Section (LGS) is available to fire district officials to assist in bringing records to an auditable condition. LGS provides a wide variety of services to local governments, including reconstructing financial records and aid in the reconciliation of books.
An entity is removed from the “unauditable” list once the audit is completed and released to the public.
The Auditor of State’s office, one of five independently elected statewide offices in Ohio, is responsible for auditing more than 5,900 state and local government agencies. Under the direction of Auditor Dave Yost, the office also provides financial services to local governments, investigates and prevents fraud in public agencies and promotes transparency in government.