Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Auditor of State Dave Yost presents Lake Metroparks the Auditor of State Award with Distinction


Auditor of State Dave Yost (on left)
Paul Palagyi, Lake Metroparks Interim Executive Director • Ken Kleppel, Administrative Services Director

A recent financial audit of Lake Metroparks (Lake County) by Auditor of State Dave Yost’s office has returned a clean audit report.  Lake Metroparks’ excellent record keeping has earned it the Auditor of State Award with Distinction, which Auditor Yost presented to Lake Metroparks on Tuesday, October 16.

Lake Metroparks takes public accountability seriously and understands the need to remain sensitive to the ever-changing economic conditions and demands we all face. Even though a zero-growth operating budget was maintained for the past four years, Lake Metroparks tightened its belt even further by reducing operating expenses by 5 percent in 2012. Energy savings and several other cost containment measures are constantly evaluated and implemented to reduce expenditures. The park system is currently operating with 28 fewer full-time employees than it had in 1994 while protecting 2,785 more acres of unique natural resources than it did at the time. As staff throughout the park system retire or move on to positions outside the agency, each vacancy is evaluated and not filled whenever possible; responsibilities are reassigned to remaining staff in order to reduce costs. 

Auditor of State Dave Yost with Ken Kleppel
and the Lake Metroparks finance group
The park system will never take the support of the people it serves for granted. The agency has a remarkable track record of augmenting local tax monies with outside sources, including private contributions, sponsorships and more than $15 million in grants since 1990. Lake Metroparks has been recognized on the local, state and national levels for its fiscal responsibility. 

The taxpayers of Lake County rightfully insist on the wise and practical administration of their investment in the park district that they own. Clean audits and awards are expected—and that is exactly what Lake Metroparks consistently delivers. 

Ohio Auditor Dave Yost said “Taxpayers expect accurate financial records from their local governments. Lake Metroparks’ dedication to accountability is evident, and I am proud to present the Auditor of State Award with Distinction in person to the park district.” 

This marks the 16th year in a row that Lake Metroparks has been awarded the Auditor’s Award.  Other financial accolades the park district has received include:

  • 2001 - Recognized by Auditor of State Petro and by GASB Chairman Tom Allen for Early Implementation of GASB 34
  • 1990 – 2010 - Received the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada.
  • 2010 - Received the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada and in 2002 received the “Award for Excellence (Pension and Benefits)” from the same organization.
The Auditor of State Award with Distinction is presented to local governments and school districts upon the completion of a financial audit.  Entities that receive the award meet the following criteria of a “clean” audit report:
  • The entity must file timely financial reports with the Auditor of State’s office in the form of a CAFR (Comprehensive Annual Financial Report);
  • The audit report does not contain any findings for recovery, material citations, material weaknesses, significant deficiencies, Single Audit findings or questioned costs.
The entity’s management letter contains no comments related to:
  • Ethics referrals
  • Questioned costs less than $10,000
  • Lack of timely report submission
  • Reconciliation
  • Failure to obtain a timely Single Audit
  • Findings for recovery less than $100
  • Public meetings or public records
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The Auditor of State’s office, one of five independently elected statewide offices in Ohio, is responsible for auditing more than 5,600 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.


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