Friday’s news items [Where’s the audit, transparency & more] – 7/17/2020

Unemployed? | “Local photographers offer free professional portraits to unemployed as part of 10,000 Headshots project”Lancaster Online

annual financial report

Hm-m-m? | Pennsylvania’s boroughs’ Annual Audit and Financial Report has to be filed with the state by April 1, each year. Last year, the borough’s auditing firm, Sager, Swisher, LLP, presented the annual report at the May, 2019 borough council meeting. Wonder when the 2019 Columbia Borough Financial Statements will be reviewed at a council meeting in 2020?

In June, 2018, the borough actually paid for an ad in Lancaster Newspapers to publish its Annual Borough Report.

“Audit Report for Fiscal Year 2012Mike Reiner of Sager Swisher, LLC. provided copies of the borough’s 2012 Audit Report; he then presented a verbal overview of the report. Reiner also introduced his associate, Alissa R. Harrison, who performed the audit.

Pennsylvania law, under the provisions of the Borough Code requires that “either the borough controller, elected auditors or appointed auditors file an Annual Audit and Financial Report.” The report is an assessment of the fiscal activities of the municipality.

The responsibility of an independent appointed auditor is to “express opinions on the municipality’s financial statements based on the audit.” Audits reflect standards generally accepted in the United States of America and the standards applicable to financial audits contained in Government Auditing Standards. Those standards require that the auditing entity “plan and perform the audit to obtain
reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement.”

According to Pennsylvania statute (53 P.S. § 46043):  “Within ten (10) days of completing their audit, borough auditors must publish a financial statement in at least one (1) newspaper of general circulation in the borough. The following must be included in the financial statement: balance in the treasury at the beginning of the fiscal year;

    • all revenues received during the fiscal year by major classifications;
    • all expenditures made during the fiscal year by major functions;
    • current resources and liabilities of the borough at the end of the fiscal year;
    • gross liability and net debt of the borough;
    • amount of the assessed valuation of the borough;
    • assets of the borough including the character and value;
    • date of the last maturity of the respective forms of funded debt; and
    • assets in each sinking fund.” – Columbia news, views & reviews

Also wonder | What happened to the promised transparency? Why can’t the Annual Audit and Financial Reports be posted at the “newly revised” Website; Elizabethtown Borough has a much more transparent Website showing 10 years of audits.

And why | are the meeting minutes posts so far behind?

And why | the expense budget for the second most populous borough in the county is less than the one for the third most populous borough?

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