Faber: Southern Ohio Port Authority is ‘unauditable’

Published 8:06 am Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Columbus — Auditor of State Keith Faber declared on Tuesday that the Southern Ohio Port Authority is ‘unauditable,” after he said the port authority failed to submit annual financial statements and did not have their financial records available to commence their biannual audit.

“Financial records must be organized and complete so that taxpayers remain informed of government spending,” Faber said in a news release. “Our Local Government Services team is ready to help should the authority need assistance correcting these deficiencies.”

Before beginning the port authority’s regular scheduled audit, state auditors determined their financial records were not available. Additionally, the port authority had not submitted annual financial statements and footnotes for fiscal years ending Dec. 31, 2017 and Dec. 31, 2018.

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Within 90 days of receiving the “unauditable” declaration, the port authority must revise their financial records and provide the data necessary to complete the audit. Failure to bring accounts, records and reports to an auditable position may result in legal action, including the possibility of the Attorney General issuing a subpoena to port authority officials to explain the condition of records. The Attorney General may also file suit to compel the officials to prepare and/or produce the required information.

The Auditor of State’s Local Government Services section is available to port authority officials to assist in bringing records to an auditable condition. Local Government Services provides a wide variety of services to local governments, including reconstructing financial records and aid in the reconciling of books.

The Auditor’s office removes an entity from the “unauditable” list once the audit is complete and released to the public.