Sunday, July 01, 2012

BUTLER COUNTY: Audit of Butler County Port Authority

The Auditor of State's Office recently published their report on an audit conducted regarding the Butler County Port Authority (PDF).

Here is the part that I found interesting (page 49):
The Port Authority is a taxing unit that did not levy a tax, and the Port authority did not adopt an operating budget for 2010. Also, for 2010 and 2011 the Port Authority did not certify beginning balances on or about the first day of each fiscal year; certify revenue available for appropriation; and adopt appropriations within available resources. Therefore, the Port Authority was unable to certify the availability of funds prior to incurring obligations and limit expenditures to appropriations for each fund.

We recommend that the Port Authority prepare the budgetary documents required by Ohio Rev. Code Section 4582.39 and 5705.28(B)(2)(b) and that the Board regularly monitor actual expenses and receipts against appropriations and estimated receipts and make modifications as needed.
The report includes this response:
The Port Authority has determined that starting for fiscal year 2013 it will follow the ORC guidance as related to the budgetary requirements of certifying the respective revenue and available balances as the fiscal year 2012 date has passed. The Port Authority will pass a 2013 budget in the June 2012 meeting.
What I find interesting about this is that this is not the first time this issue has come up during an audit of the Port Authority. A 2009 audit also revealed non-compliance with this regulation. (Documentation of this particular audit does not appear to be online, but is referred to in the Schedule of Previous Findings on page 51 of the current audit report.)

EXIT QUESTIONS: How does a county agency function without a budget? Is this how the county winds up in the hole? How did the county commission arrive at their budget numbers for this agency if the agency didn't have a budget of their own?

NOTE: The Auditor of State's website has a treasure trove of reports that I am hoping to go through and this might become a regular feature here on WMD. My purpose here is not to embarrass the good people who are doing fine work at the Port Authority, but rather to make sure that word gets out on accountability issues. Unfortunately, local media is being gutted so stories like these are not necessarily getting the kind of coverage they should. Sunlight is the most effective disinfectant for corruption, and I intend to shine some light to ensure integrity remains in our local government(s). Should anyone from this agency wish to follow-up on this report, please feel free to contact me via email at wmdtvmatt - at - yahoo - dot - com