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Auditor Yost Announces “Sunshine Audit” Initiative
Columbus – Long, expensive legal battles can be prevented through the new “Sunshine Audit” announced today by Auditor of State Dave Yost.
“Lawsuits cost too much, take too long and are not a realistic option for the average citizen,” Auditor Yost said. “The vast majority of cases can be resolved through a simpler, streamlined process – and that’s what Sunshine Audits are all about.”
The new policy allows any citizen or organization to submit a public records complaint against a public entity for a “Sunshine Audit.” In order for a complaint to be reviewed, the complainant must first make efforts to utilize the Ohio Attorney General’s mediation process.
Sunshine Audits are limited scope reviews used to determine if the entity is in violation of the Ohio Public Records Act. After receiving a complaint, both parties will receive notice and will have an opportunity to present their arguments. The Auditor of State’s office will determine if public records law has been violated and issue a report under the authority of Ohio Revised Code §117.01.
Once the Sunshine Audit is complete, a letter will be sent to both parties. The complainant’s letter will include information as to their rights and enforcement options under the Ohio Public Records Law. The public entity will receive a noncompliance citation, bearing the weight of law, if a violation occurred.
Complaints will be received, and Sunshine Audits will be conducted, by the Auditor of State’s Open Government Unit. Any citizen or organization can file complaints by:
- Filling out a web form at http://www.ohioauditor.gov/SunshineAudits;
- E-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org;
- Calling the Auditor of State’s office at (800) 282-0370; or
- Mail to 88 E. Broad Street, Columbus, OH 43215.
More information about the Sunshine Audit initiative is available online.
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.