POMEROY — Ohio Auditor of State Keith Faber made a visit to Meigs County on Thursday, the 82nd of the state’s 88 counties he has visited since taking office earlier in 2019.
Faber met with Meigs County Auditor Mary Byer-Hill and Commissioner Jimmy Will, spending time hearing concerns and fielding questions for the elected officials.
Among the topics discussed with audit costs, property tax collection, cyber security and public records.
Byer-Hill expressed concerns to Faber about the cost of the annual audit, which for the past few years has been handled by auditors from the State Auditor’s Office. Byer-Hill told Faber that the cost of the annual audit had more than doubled in the past few years, making it much higher than what was paid when conducted by the independent auditors.
Faber said he would look into why the cost has been so high, stating that it should have been similar to the prior costs.
The Auditor of State encouraged Byer-Hill to contact his office with any questions or concerns that she or the office may have, stating that he expects customers to be treated professionally by his office.
Faber spoke of the need to have back up systems and protect county data from possible hackers. Byer-Hill explained the steps that are being taken by the county to protect the systems. Faber also suggested that the local government take part in a training program provided by CORSA to help be prepared. The auditor’s office is also putting in place steps to help with recovery the day after should an agency become the victim of a cyber attack.
While cyber security is a top priority for Faber’s office, the office also deals with fraud and theft in office complaints and investigations.
“If you see something, say something,” said Faber. He encouraged any one who sees something they consider to be suspicious to call the fraud hotline and report the matter.
Faber also offered a free public record training course for local officials which could be organized to include the schools, townships, village and county officials.
Faber was also scheduled to visit Hocking and Vinton counties on Thursday.
Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.