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Ward Township Financial Records “Unauditable”
Columbus – Auditor of State Dave Yost declared Ward Township “unauditable” today after its fiscal officer failed to provide financial statements required for an audit.
“Complete financial records shine a light on local governments,” Auditor Yost said. “Taxpayers should know how their dollars are being spent, and without an audit they are being left in the dark.”
Prior to the start of the audit for the period Jan. 1, 2016, through Dec. 31, 2017, auditors contacted the Hocking County township to request its annual financial statements. The township’s fiscal officer failed to file the necessary statements, despite receiving a deadline extension.
In a letter to the township, the Auditor of State’s office notified township officials that the audit cannot start without the required financial statements.
Within 90 days of the date of the letter, the township 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 township 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 township 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.