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Village of Rome Financial Records “Unauditable”
Columbus – Auditor of State Dave Yost placed the Village of Rome (Adams County) on the “unauditable list” today after it failed to provide any financial records necessary to complete an audit.
To initiate the regular financial audit of the Village of Rome for the period January 1, 2014 through December 31, 2015, the Auditor of State’s office made numerous attempts to obtain the records needed to complete the audit. The village failed to make any of the necessary records available.
While attempting to contact village officials, auditors discovered that both the Mayor and Village Clerk positions are vacant. Additionally, the Adams County Board of Elections website lists four appointed council members, but the only phone number provided was disconnected.
The Adams County Auditor’s office informed auditors that the village hired an individual to maintain its records. However, she was unable to provide any records to auditors and said she did not know who the village council members were.
“It’s tough to start an audit when you can’t even find the people in charge,” Auditor Yost said, “but it’s even harder when they don’t provide any records.”
In a letter to the village, the Auditor of State’s office provided a list of records required to complete the audit. Within 90 days of the date of the letter, the village 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 village officials to explain the condition of records. The attorney general may also file suit to compel the village to prepare and/or produce the required information.
The Auditor of State’s Local Government Section (LGS) is available to assist the village 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.
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