Public Trusts and Counties Late on Filing State-Mandated Audits

  • Joe Wertz

More than half of Oklahoma’s 1,284 public trusts are breaking state law by not filing timely audits with the state Auditor and Inspector, the Tulsa World reported today.

Some trusts have been delinquent for several years, records show, and just a third of Oklahoma’s 77 counties have a current audit on file, State Auditor Gary Jones told the paper’s Omer Gillham.

In January, only 10 counties had filed audits, Jones said.

Jones, who took office in January, told the World that he inherited a backlog of audits and outdated trust records. Reviewing records, Jones found that seven counties hadn’t been audited since 2005, while 16 hadn’t been audited since 2006, the paper reported.

“The percentage of public trusts filing their audits in unacceptable,” Jones said. “To be hovering around 50 percent noncompliance must be addressed and improved.”

The Auditor and Inspector’s office audits Oklahoma counties, but public trusts — like schools, airports and hospitals — conduct their own audits, which are filed with the state.

Jones said some trusts associated with cities do file audits with the cities, but Jones said state law requires filing with the state.

Gasoline tax could be withheld from cities that are delinquent for two years.

The World has compiled a database that allows users to search public trusts to find out which ones did or did not file audits for FY2008-FY2010.