Columbus – More than $42,000 was nearly lost to the Village of Carrollton (Carroll County) because of a mistaken double payment to a contractor that went uncorrected for more than a year, according to an audit released today by Auditor of State Dave Yost.
“The rule of thumb is ‘check twice,’ not ‘pay twice’,” Auditor Yost said. “When you write a check equal to 5 percent of your entire income tax collections, that’s worth reviewing.”
The mistaken payment happened during a transition between village administrators and was related to confusion over how to handle payments from the state Public Works Commission for a storm sewer contract in the amount of $744,000.
Each time the contractor submitted periodic billing for the project, OPWC paid 95 percent and the village paid 5 percent. Upon completion of the project and final billing, OPWC issued a payment in the amount of $42,177.62 to the village for reimbursable engineering costs. Village officials mistook it for a payment due to the contractor and, in turn, sent a payment in that amount to the contractor in Jan. 2011. Although the contractor had already been paid the full amount due on the project, the contractor did not return the money until March 2012, after the error was reported by auditors.
Auditors recommended the village improve internal controls. Total village 2011 General Fund expenditures equaled $1.25 million, while the village income tax raised $847,000.
A full copy of the audit may be found online.
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.