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Ohio State and Auditor of State partner to advance university’s efficiency goals
University is first higher-ed institution to undergo performance audit
COLUMBUS, Ohio – To amplify the university’s ongoing efficiency work, The Ohio State University and the Auditor of State’s office will collaborate on the state’s first performance audit of a higher education institution.
Performance audits are conducted by Auditor Dave Yost’s office to identify operational efficiencies that public entities can use to reduce costs and improve service. They differ from traditional financial audits, which are performed regularly on Ohio public institutions to provide oversight of financial reporting processes and procedures.
A state performance audit supports Ohio State’s plan, announced by President Michael V. Drake at his university investiture, to generate $200 million in efficiencies and another $200 million in new resources over five years to enhance access, affordability and excellence.
“Ohio State is devoted to finding administrative efficiencies that can be redirected into cost savings or quality improvements,” said Geoff Chatas, the university’s senior vice president for business and finance and CFO. “We have made significant progress, but we welcome the additional resources that Auditor Yost can bring to our existing efficiency work.”
“President Drake has made affordability and excellence a priority, and we are delighted to help him in that effort,” Yost said. “We’ve assisted Ohio communities both big and small provide better value and save millions of dollars. Helping this great university – my alma mater – and ultimately its students is both professionally and personally gratifying.”
This year alone, more than 15,700 low- and middle-income Ohio State students are receiving $20 million in financial aid through administrative savings generated by the university.
The Auditor of State’s office will help advance that work. Since Yost took office, the Ohio Performance Team (OPT) has identified more than $228 million in potential savings for state agencies, local governments and school districts throughout Ohio. Since OPT’s inception, more than $1 billion in savings has been recommended.
Ohio State and the Auditor’s Office anticipate that the performance audit would focus on one or more of these areas:
- Information technology systems and support
- Fleet management
- Food service
- Shared services
The Auditor’s Office currently conducts at least four performance audits of state agencies each biennium.
Legislation pending in the Ohio General Assembly would make explicit that the Auditor may audit an institution of higher education as one of those four audits per biennium. House Bill 384, sponsored by Reps. Tim Schaffer and Mike Duffey, was approved by the House on Jan. 27 and is pending in the Senate Finance Committee. It has the support of the Ohio Association of Community Colleges (OACC), and pending approval of agreed-to amendments, the Inter-University Council (IUC).