Eight local entities cited

Published 8:18 am Wednesday, March 14, 2018

COLUMBUS — Eight public entities in Lawrence County were issued public records citations for the calendar year 2017, according to the Ohio State Auditor’s Office.

State auditors in Ohio issued 321 public records-related citations to 267 public entities in calendar year 2017 — a 22 percent drop in citations from the prior year, Auditor of State Dave Yost announced Monday as part of Sunshine Week, a nationwide initiative designed to raise awareness of the importance of open government and public records.

“In all, about 5.5 percent of the 4,803 financial audits issued in 2017 included citations for noncompliance with public records-related requirements,” the office said in a news release. “The prior year, 8 percent of the 4,446 audits released included noncompliance citations.”

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Both the Ohio Auditor’s office and the Office of the Ohio Attorney General offer public records trainings to public employees. More information about compliance requirements for Ohio’s public records laws is included in Auditor of State Bulletin 2011-006.

A spreadsheet of all public records citations from 2017 is available online.
Sunshine Week runs from March 11-17 and occurs every mid-March, coinciding with the National Freedom of Information Day on March 16.

The eight entities cited by the auditor’s office in the spreadsheet are as follows, with comments:

City of Ironton

Financial audit
“The City provided no support that any elected official or their designee for the City attended public records training.”

Decatur Township

OCBOA-RG Regulatory Basis
The City provided no support that any elected official or their designee for the City attended public records training.
The entity should have a copy of its current records retention schedule at a location readily available to the public.”

Lawrence County Educational Service Center

SA Special Audit
“We determined the LCESC received a public records request on January 26, 2015 and the Superintendent responded to the request on February 5, 2015, however, the Superintendent did not provide the actual records that were in existence at the time of the request. The records provided to the requestor had been modified after the request was made to the LCESC.”

Lawrence County Port Authority

GASB 34 Financial Audit
“The Port Authority did not provide a public records policy or records retention schedule.”


Rock Hill Local School Dictrict

GASB 34 Financial Audit
“The District’s public records policy is not on display.”

Village of Coal Grove

OCBOA-RG Regulatory Basis
“The Village does have a public record and record retention policy however they are not approved by council and the public record policy is not on display.”

Windsor Township

OCBOA-RG Regulatory Basis
“The Township did not have a formerly adopted public records policy during 2014 and 2015. This could result in the Township being in noncompliance with Public Records Laws.”

Woodland Union Cemetery

OCBOA-RG Regulatory Basis
“The Board of Trustees and Office Manager did not attend the required public records training or have a designee attend in place of them. Failure to attend the required training can lead to errors due to lack of knowledge pertaining to public records policies.”