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Taylor Releases Jackson Township Audit
Trustees Neglected to Pass a Formal Budget in Two Years
Montgomery County -
State Auditor Mary Taylor released the audit of Jackson Township in Montgomery County today. The audit says trustees failed to pass an annual budget and balance township accounts during the entire 2004 and 2005 audit period.
“This is a serious issue. Trustees increase the possibility of misspending public money if they neglect to pass and implement an annual budget,” Taylor said. “In order to safeguard public funds, trustees must pass a balanced budget within the parameters established by state law.”
Trustees passed temporary budgets in both years but never filed the measures with the county auditor for approval. State law allows local municipalities to pass a temporary budget to conduct day-to-day operations through March 31st of each year. State law also says local governments are prohibited from spending money until a budget is passed.
The audit also found that the township’s bank accounts were not balanced over the course of the entire audit period resulting in incorrect account balances and other errors. Taylor recommends that trustees implement an effective system of checks and balances to reduce the risk of theft or misspending of taxpayer dollars.
Among the suggestions, Taylor recommends:
- A monthly review of all budget activity
- Balancing accounts monthly and reviewing unusual items such as outstanding checks or deposits
- Ensuring adequate segregation of duties between management and staff
The Ohio Auditor of State’s Office is one of the largest public accounting offices in the nation. The Office strives to ensure that all public funds are spent legally and appropriately and works aggressively to root out fraud, waste and abuse in public spending. Taylor encourages anyone suspecting fraud or misspending of public dollars to contact her office toll free at 1-866-FRAUD-OH (1-866-372-8364).
A copy of the full audit is available online at http://www.auditor.state.oh.us/AuditSearch/Reports/2007/Jackson_Township_05_04-Montgomery.pdf.