Belpre auditor receives honor

BELPRE – The auditor for the city of Belpre has been awarded the Auditor of State Award for excellence in financial reporting by state auditor.

Belpre City Auditor Leslie Pittenger was recognized by state Auditor Dave Yost for having an accurate financial record-keeping for the fiscal year ending in 2012.

“It is pretty exciting,” Pittenger said. “It has taken me four years to get to this point, but we made it.”

The award is presented to local governments and school districts once their financial audit is completed. The entities must meet criteria to receive the award.

In the letter of congratulations to Pittenger from Yost, the state said it looks forward to working with the Belpre Audit Department in the future.

“Clean and accurate record-keeping are the foundation for good government,” the letter stated. “The taxpayers can take pride in your commitment to accountability.”

To be given the recognition, the entity must file timely financial reports with the state auditor’s office in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles and the audit report cannot contain any findings for recovery, material citations, material weaknesses, significant deficiencies, single audit findings or questioned costs.

The report means the city’s financial audit did not contain references or comments related to ethics referrals, failure to obtain a timely audit, questioned costs less than $10,000 or findings for recovery of less than $100.

“In the last four years, working to get the city’s financial records in order, I and the auditor’s office have learned a lot,” Pittenger said. “It has been a lot of hard work, but well worth it.”

Other recent recipients of the award include Washington Court House, the Rocky River Wastewater Treatment Plant in Cuyahoga County and Nelsonville.

The state auditor is one of five independently elected statewide offices in Ohio and is responsible for auditing more than 5,700 state and local government agencies. The office also provides financial services to local governments as well as investigates and prevents fraud in public agencies while promoting transparency in government.

“Receiving this recognition means we are running a clean ship in Belpre,” Pittenger said.