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Internal Audit Shows Budget Commission Responsible for Distributing Over 2.4 Billion Dollars of Tax Revenues Has Model Policies and Procedures

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Miranda Pomiecko, (216) 698-2546; mpomiecko@cuyahogacounty.us 

CLEVELAND – An internal review of the Cuyahoga County Budget Commission Department’s policies and procedures manual found the written procedures in place appeared to be exemplary and should serve as a model for other counties. The report, conducted by the Department of Internal Auditing (DIA) was released yesterday by Director Cory A. Swaisgood, CPA.

“I am very pleased with the results of this review. The Commissions policies and procedures have been deemed exemplary because of the dedicated work of our county employees,” said Cuyahoga County Fiscal Officer Dennis Kennedy. “Our Budget Commission Administrator, Bryan Dunn, has established a clear and comprehensive set of written procedures. All three employees in the Department are cross-trained and can perform any role in the office, effectively utilizing its limited resources to maximize their efficiency.”

The purpose of this review was to examine the Department’s policies and procedures for clarity and comprehensiveness, segregation of duties and internal control weaknesses, evidence of best practices from other Ohio counties, and documentation and acknowledgment of applicable laws (e.g. Ohio Tax Law, ORC).

The primary functions of the Cuyahoga County Budget Commission, a department established under the Ohio Revised Code, includes auditing annual tax budgets of 105 taxing authorities in Cuyahoga County, determining annual property tax rates for each taxing authority, issuing Official Amended Certificate of Estimated Resources to each taxing authority, and distributing property tax revenues collected to all cities, villages, townships, school districts, library systems, and taxing authorities in Cuyahoga County. Over 2.4 billion dollars of tax revenues are distributed annually.

The DIA contacted six other counties within the State of Ohio, the five largest other than Cuyahoga and one random, to determine if other Budget Commissions developed written policies and procedures. Of the four counties that responded, no other county budget commission had formal written policies and procedures. The Department also had the most informative website of any county in Ohio reviewed by DIA. Additionally, the Department staff has a direct working relationship with the fiscal officers, school treasurers and public officials in Cuyahoga County.

The DIA made recommendations to improve controls which the Budget Commission Department immediately began to implement, including improvements to the department procedures and reference to applicable Ohio Revised Code sections in the policies and procedures manual. This review was performed in accordance with the International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing issued by the Institute of Internal Auditors.

To read the full report, go to: http://bc.cuyahogacounty.us/pdf_bc/en-US/BCPoliciesProceduresReview.pdf