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Franklin Township Placed in Fiscal Caution
Columbus – Poor records and numerous audit citations prompted Auditor of State Dave Yost today to place Franklin Township (Richland County) in a state of fiscal caution.
“Franklin Township needs to get serious about keeping good financial records,” Auditor Yost said. “This early warning gives officials the opportunity to turn things around before they get worse.”
A review of Franklin Township’s financial data on May 9, 2013 found that the township met three fiscal caution conditions. The township’s 2009-2010 financial audit included 15 noncompliance citations and no annual financial reports were filed with the Auditor of State’s office. Fund balances for fiscal years 2011 and 2012 could not be determined due to the poor condition of the township’s records, including reconciliations of its account journals and ledgers with the bank. Reconciliations have not taken place since December 31, 2010 – a total of 30 months.
The Auditor of State’s guidelines for a declaration of fiscal caution include (1) unauditable financial records; (2) significant deficiencies, material weaknesses, direct and material noncompliance as disclosed in the financial audit; (3) deficit fund balances; (4) a carryover fund balance of less than one month’s average expenditures for two consecutive years, and (5) a failure to reconcile accounting journals and ledgers with the treasury.
Under the declaration and in accordance with Revised Code 118.025(A), the township has 60 days to submit to the Auditor of State a plan to correct the conditions that led to the declaration of fiscal caution.
Franklin Township, population 1,721 (2010 census), has an annual general fund budget of approximately $81,000 (2012).
A full copy of this fiscal emergency declaration may be accessed at www.ohioauditor.gov.
The Auditor of State’s office, one of five independently elected statewide offices in Ohio, is responsible for auditing more than 5,800 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.