Laketran receives Federal, State and local accolades for financial managementPublished: Monday, November 21, 2011
Lake County, OH -- Laketran has received recognition at the local, state and federal levels for suburb fiscal management of the county transit agency.
Locally, Laketran received its fifteenth consecutive clean audit. Laketran received an “unqualified opinion”, the highest possible ranking given for this type of audit, from a third party auditor James G. Zupka, CPA, Inc. Zupka is contracted by the State of Ohio to conduct Laketran’s audit and issue an opinion, which is subject to review by the Auditor of State.
At the state level, Laketran received the “Auditor of State Award with Distinction” from the office of David Yost, Auditor of State. The award is given for audits that do not contain any findings for recovery, material citations, material weaknesses, significant deficiencies or questioned costs among many other items.
“All of us at Laketran take great pride in our work and are very conscientious about managing the public funds that have been entrusted to us by our taxpayers,” stated Laketran controller Lisa Colling.
Nationally, Laketran’s controller, Lisa Colling, and the Finance Department have been honored by The Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) with a “Distinguished Budget Presentation Award” for Laketran’s $12 million 2011 budget.
“The award represents a significant achievement by the entity. It reflects the commitment of the governing body and staff to meet the highest principles of governmental budgeting. In order to receive the budget award, Laketran satisfied nationally recognized guidelines for effective budget presentation. The guidelines assess Laketran’s budget as a policy document, a financial plan, an operations guide, and a communications device. Laketran’s 2011 budget documents rated “proficient” in all four categories, and then 14 mandatory criteria within those categories, to achieve the award,” commented Stephen Gauthier in a prepared statement by the GFOA.
Of the GFOA’s 17,400 members, only 1,250 government entities received the Award. This is the 14th consecutive year Laketran has been honored with this achievement.
Most recently, Laketran has received perfect results on a major review by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). Laketran received an “Achievement of Excellence Certificate” on November 7 acknowledging that it had met all the requirements of the areas examined in the FTA’s Triennial Review, a federal audit conducted every three years. Laketran was one of ten transit agency’s that earned this distinguished award. Thirty Seven (37) were audited by the FTA in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota.
The Triennial Review is FTA’s assessment of Laketran’s compliance with Federal requirements determined by the examination of grant management practices and program implementation.
“The Triennial Review examines 24 areas. No deficiencies were found. Laketran is to be commended for having a perfect Triennial Review,” wrote Dominick J. Gatto, director, Office of Operations and Program Management for FTA. This is the fifth consecutive perfect Triennial Review Laketran received over the last 15 years.
“Laketran relies on Federal grants to fund capital projects. Making sure we are compliant in grant reporting allows us to secure $2.5 million each year of federal funding to replace obsolete buses, maintain our bus fleet and provide our customers with more amenities like bus stop shelters and passenger information at bus stops throughout the county. We take this review very seriously,” explained general manager Ray Jurkowski.
“We are very proud to be the recipient of these distinguished honors and prestigious awards from the state and federal offices. These honors reflect Laketran’s dedication and commitment to the highest standards and continue an on-going legacy of prudent financial management,” commented board president, Kevin Malecek.