The state of Ohio has too many planes, fragmented accounting for their costs and nonexistent standards governing their use, according to the Auditor of State of Thursday.
The report released Thursday by State Auditor David Yost recommends Ohio develop a single cost center for all expenses related to executive branch travel on state aircraft.
The report also recommends the state either find another purpose for its underused five-person helicopter or sell it.
“It’s time to have some clear accounting and have clear policies and procedures and set-out, put everybody on notice that this is what the planes are for and how they’re used,” Yost said.
Gov. John Kasich’s office sent Watchdog 10 a statement on Thursday regarding the audit.
"We welcome this kind of constructive feedback,” Kasich’s office said. “We're glad to have a partner in state government who is as committed to efficiency and good stewardship of taxpayer dollars as we are, and we'll give his recommendations close consideration.".
The audit says Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor took three flights last year that included routes meant to divert to the Canton Airport near her home for her “convenience,” and Ohio House Speaker William Batchelder used a state plan to go from a private event to the Statehouse in Columbus.
The report says both reimbursed the state.
Batchelder’s spokesperson did not say under what circumstances he reimbursed the state.
Taylor also reimbursed the state for the three trips in question. Her office told Watchdog 10 that there was nothing improper about the travel.
The Ohio Department of Transportation said it planned to use the recommendations going forward.
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