County looks into solutions for audit issues

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CHAMPAIGN COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — It was previously reported that an overdue Champaign County audit is putting a stop payment on the Regional Planning Commission. The organization is locked out from getting money–and more agencies are at risk.

The RPC offers several social services to people in need. Leaders said they are mostly granted–funded–and the stop-payment status puts $18 million in grant money in jeopardy.

A letter from the DCEO to the county earlier this month indicated if the audit was not completed by March 17, it could block the county from money for other agencies, including DCFS, IDOT and the Illinois State Board of Education.

The audit was due in December. County Auditor George Danos said significant overturn and issues in the treasurer’s office led to the backlog.

“My chief deputy had to perform the bank reconciliations,” said Danos. “Not just for RPC, but for all county bank accounts, and that’s something that normally would have come from the treasurer’s office.”

Danos said RPC will likely be able to avert a big percentage of those stop payments. He said RPC leaders to write state agency leaders, asking for what’s called payment justifications, since their services impact public health and safety. That would unblock money, even under stop-payment status.

Danos said he is working to see if that solution can be applied to other agencies besides RPC. He said he is also working with federal agencies to see if an audit extension to June 1 is possible.

Danos said the audit is almost complete. The two missing pieces are reconciliations from property tax collector accounts and a document from the circuit clerk.

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