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Results of Sunshine Law Compliance Audits Released

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Columbus – The test of 20 counties and cities for Sunshine Law compliance this year returned a mixed bag of results – with 40 percent having weaknesses in their public records policies and procedures.  Auditor of State Dave Yost announced the results of those audits today in a presentation to the Ohio Association of Broadcasters Board of Directors.

“It’s disappointing in this day and age with all the attention on transparency that we don’t do enough to make sure the people’s records are accessible,” Auditor Yost said.  “We’ve just got to do better.”

Results ranged from full compliance with Sunshine Laws to the failure to centralize how public records requests are fulfilled and tracked.  Comments and recommendations are included in the entities’ management letters that accompany the audit.

Audits Containing Sunshine Law Comments:
  • Allen County
  • City of Beavercreek (Greene)
  • City of Bowling Green (Wood)
  • Crawford County
  • Cuyahoga County
  • City of Elyria (Lorain)
  • City of Harrison (Hamilton)
  • City of Portsmouth (Scioto)
Audits Containing No Sunshine Law Comments:
  • City of Ashland (Ashland)
  • Ashtabula County
  • City of Canton (Stark)
  • Clermont County
  • City of Marysville (Union)
  • City of Springboro (Warren)
  • City of Struthers (Mahoning)
  • Tuscarawas County
  • City of Urbana (Champaign)
  • Washington County
  • Williams County
  • City of Willoughby Lakes (Lake)

Auditor Yost announced the audits during Sunshine Week in March. The audits analyzed procedures to determine if each entity has controls in place to ensure compliance with the Ohio Public Records Act. Among the standards examined were prompt responses to requests for inspections and responses within a reasonable time for copies. Auditors also examined records retention schedules related to public records requests, and best practice procedures such as training, redaction practices and documentation of response.

 

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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.

Contact:
Carrie Bartunek
Press Secretary
614-644-111