Mike Harmon Auditor of Public Accounts




Auditor Harmon Announces State Committee for School District Audits Meeting Schedule
Regular Meetings Scheduled for Fiscal Year 2022

State Auditor Mike Harmon announced today, in accordance with Kentucky’s Open Meetings Law (KRS 61.820), the regular meeting schedule of the State Committee for School District Audits. The Committee is chaired by the State Auditor.

The regular quarterly meetings and an additional regular meeting of the Committee for Fiscal Year 2021-2022 are scheduled for September 16, 2021; October 14, 2021; March 17, 2022; March 24, 2022; and June 16, 2022. The meetings will be held at the Office of the Auditor of Public Accounts, 209 St. Clair Street, Frankfort, Kentucky 40601. Each meeting is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. Eastern time.




Op-Ed: It's Time to Fix Kentucky's Unemployment System

Governor Beshear, thousands of Kentuckians are counting on you. It’s hard when you don’t have all the answers. I get it. We all face challenges in life that you just cannot figure out. It’s painful and frustrating, and you let your pride get in the way of asking for help. In the case of Kentucky’s unemployment system, it’s been almost a year trying to untangle the mess, and eventually you just have to figure it out.




Multiple Issues within Kentucky’s Unemployment Insurance System Detailed in Statewide Single Audit of Kentucky
Problems part of 25 findings in Fiscal Year 2020 audit

Today, Auditor Mike Harmon’s office released the first volume of the Statewide Single Audit of Kentucky (SSWAK) for Fiscal Year 2020. The SSWAK contains 25 findings, half of them dealing with problems identified within the Office of Unemployment Insurance (OUI) and the Unemployment Insurance (UI) fund.

“When we issued a qualified opinion on the UI fund as part of the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, or CAFR, audit in December 2020, it was based on the fact the Commonwealth did not know how much money is still owed to Kentuckians who filed for unemployment benefits and the numerous internal control issues within OUI,” said Auditor Harmon. “The SSWAK report details those and other issues within our unemployment insurance system, which should be deeply concerning to taxpayers and those who have filed for UI benefits.”




Not Knowing Amount Still Owed to Unemployment Insurance Claimants Contributes to a Qualified Audit Opinion for Commonwealth’s Annual Financial Report for Fiscal Year 2020
More details will be released in upcoming Statewide Single Audit of Kentucky

Auditor Mike Harmon’s office has completed its annual audit of the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report and issued a qualified opinion on the Unemployment Insurance (UI) Fund, also known as the Unemployment Compensation Fund, because of the UI internal control environment and the unknown amount owed to those who filed for unemployment benefits during Fiscal Year 2020.

“We’ve seen numerous stories about our friends and neighbors who have been displaced from their jobs and filed for unemployment benefits to help them and their families make ends meet,” said Auditor Harmon. “What our office found during our CAFR audit is that the Office of Unemployment Insurance is unable to accurately determine the amount of claims still outstanding for the fiscal year that ended on June 30, and a large backlog of claims remain unresolved.”




Auditor Mike Harmon: Finding from Special Examination of City of Bedford Will Be Referred to Attorney General
Examination details poor oversight, questionable spending by Trimble County city

Today, Auditor Mike Harmon released the results of a special examination by his office for the city of Bedford from January 1, 2017 to September 30, 2019. The examination of the Trimble County city contains seven findings and recommendations by Auditor Harmon’s office. Finding 2 of the examination will be referred by Auditor Harmon to the Office of the Attorney General (OAG).

“In my letter to the mayor of Bedford, I identify where our examination found problem areas, including the failure by the city to maintain financial records, questionable spending, and lax oversight when it comes to employee leave and personnel policies,” Auditor Harmon said. “Proper oversight and attention to detail in areas like record keeping are the cornerstones of accountable, transparent government. Without it, you can have the type of issues found in our exam of Bedford, which we are referring to Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s office.”




Op-Ed: Keeping High Level of Accountability, Transparency While Saving Taxpayers Money
Auditor Mike Harmon

In 2016, when I was sworn in as Kentucky’s 47th Auditor of Public Accounts, I stated that the role of our office is to make sure government is efficient, effective, and ethical. Each day, our auditors accomplish that through the work they do in holding state and local government accountable to the taxpayers of Kentucky.

But, our office also understands that public funds are tight in many areas of the Commonwealth even before the current pandemic struck our nation. Based on that reality, we always search out ways to carry out our motto of “Follow the Data” while at the same time doing so in a resourceful, responsible fashion.




Numerous Recurring Issues Identified in First Ever Audit of Regional Jail
Auditor Mike Harmon’s office releases results of four audits of Bourbon-Nicholas Regional Jail Authority

Audits over four fiscal years of the Bourbon County-Nicholas County Regional Jail Authority reveal numerous recurring issues, according to Auditor Mike Harmon’s office. Today, Auditor Harmon released the audits of the regional jail authority, which is a follow-up to a data bulletin on regional jail authorities in Kentucky that was released in May 2019.

“Our data bulletin discovered that the Bourbon-Nicholas Regional Jail Authority had never been audited since it was first formed more than a decade ago. Because our office is dedicated to greater transparency and accountability for all levels of government, we decided to conduct our own audits of the regional jail,” Auditor Harmon said. “What our auditors found was that the regional jail authority has several problem areas that were repeated over the four fiscal years we examined.”




County Ethics Codes a Variety of Requirements and Enforcement; One-Fourth of Counties Have No Appointed Members of Local Ethics Boards
Latest Data Bulletin from Auditor Mike Harmon’s office reviews county ethics in Kentucky

On the heels of Operation Boptrot, members of the Kentucky General Assembly passed House Bill 238 during the 1994 regular session. HB 238 directed local governments to establish and enforce local ethics codes for elected officials. More than 25 years after its passage, Auditor Mike Harmon’s office is releasing a data bulletin on the status of local ethics codes and enforcement by Kentucky’s 120 counties.

“Over the past five years, our office has made seven referrals from audits and examinations to various local ethics boards. To our surprise, we found several of those boards were inactive and appointments to these boards had expired,” said Auditor Harmon. “I have often said the role of our office is to make sure government is efficient, effective, and ethical. Based on that philosophy and the need for greater transparency and accountability, we decided to take a deeper look at the status of local ethics codes and the boards that are tasked with enforcing them.”




Examination of City of Salyersville to Be Referred to Attorney General, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Review by Auditor Mike Harmon’s office details two findings, one on city and other on local tourism commission

Today, Kentucky Auditor Mike Harmon released the results of an examination by his office of the financial management and operational activities of tourism funds received by the city of Salyersville in Magoffin County. The exam has two findings, which will be referred to the Office of Attorney General, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the local ethics board for review and possible action.

“Our decision to do this examination came about from concerns we received from the public about how Salyersville’s leadership was conducting business with tourism dollars they had received,” said Auditor Harmon. “What our exam found were overpayments to a contractor who also happens to be the Salyersville mayor’s son, and expenditures from the tourism commission for things like contract labor for election work and laundering uniforms. We found the local tourism commission did not approve those and other expenditures because the board hasn’t met since 2009.”




Auditor Mike Harmon: Continued Issues Tracking Compliance, Financial Information Preventing Proper Oversight of Local Tourism Commissions
Concern identified in latest data bulletin regarding impact of tourism in Kentucky

A new data bulletin released by Auditor Mike Harmon’s office focused on the impact of tourism on Kentucky’s economy highlights the continued failure to properly track whether the vast majority of local tourism commissions are compliant with requirements for special purpose government entities, or SPGEs.

Following a 2012 special examination by the Kentucky Office of the Auditor of Public Accounts, the General Assembly overwhelmingly passed House Bill 1 during the 2013 Regular Session, which created a registration system for SPGEs to submit administrative and financial information to the Department for Local Government (DLG). The law also requires DLG to report any SPGE, which includes at least 90 of the 116 local tourism commissions in Kentucky, that aren’t compliant with these requirements to the Auditor’s office and the Finance and Administration Cabinet.




Auditor Mike Harmon Announces Changes to Executive Staff
Restructure will bring more specialized focus to offices within the agency, with new directors named

Today, Auditor Mike Harmon announced three new position appointments that are part of a restructuring of the Kentucky Office of the Auditor of Public Accounts that will bring a more specialized focus to the audit offices within the agency.

“Team #FollowTheData continues to do outstanding work to bring greater accountability and transparency to local and state government for those we serve, the taxpayers. These changes being implemented will give us a greater ability in the pursuit of our goal of oversight and good government to all corners of the Commonwealth,” said Auditor Harmon.




Auditor Harmon Releases Annual Audit of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources Fish and Game Fund
Fiscal Year 2019 audit contains two repeat findings from prior fiscal year review

Today, Kentucky Auditor of Public Accounts Mike Harmon released the Fiscal Year 2019 audit of the revenue sources of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources (KDFWR) Fish and Game Fund.

“The KDFWR touches the lives of many Kentuckians through the issuance of hunting and fishing licenses. Because of that, it is imperative that the agency provide transparency and accountability to our sportsmen and sportswomen, as well as taxpayers who help provide funding through federal grants,” said Auditor Harmon. “Our auditors followed the data, and the report we are issuing today identifies two recurring issues within KDFWR.”




Six-Figure Bonus to Spouse, Public Funds Used to Pay for Personal Expenses, Questionable Spending Among Issues Identified in Exam of Select County Attorney Offices
Special Examination of Nine County Attorney Offices Results in Nine Findings

Following a special examination by the Kentucky Auditor Mike Harmon’s office, issues identified with the Boyd, Gallatin, and Lawrence County Attorney offices are being referred to federal and state law enforcement. The report, “Examination of Certain Financial Operations and Internal Policies and Controls of Select Kentucky County Attorney Offices” covered activity between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2019, was released today by Auditor Harmon’s office.

“Based on our special exam of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services’ Child Support Enforcement (CSE) Program, which my office released last December, we identified various issues that prompted our decision to conduct an examination of nine county attorney offices,” Auditor Harmon said. “We found numerous issues related to poor oversight and lack of controls over taxpayers funds, and little guidance and review from the state level.”




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