The Office of the Utah State Auditor released its review of the Southwest Utah Public Health Department. The office reviewed the department’s compliance with state requirements pertaining to the Utah Public Finance website (known as the Utah Transparency website) and also reviewed the Southwest Utah Public Health Foundation and transfers from the department to the foundation.

The department is organized as an inter-local entity and a component unit of Washington County. It serves as the local health department for Beaver, Kane, Washington, Iron and Garfield Counties. The department has an annual budget of more than $5 million.

Upon review of key procedures, the office identified four findings and recommendations to improve compliance of the department.

1. Failure to Provide Financial Information to the Utah Public Finance website despite repeated audit findings calling for the department to do so.

2. Lack of appropriate oversight of the related foundation.

3. Funds transferred from department to the foundation in order to circumvent legal requirements.

4. The department received donated funds on behalf of a nonaffiliated organization, Washington County Search and Rescue.

John Dougall, Utah State Auditor and one of the co-sponsors of the original legislation that created the Utah Public Finance website, said, “I am concerned that members of the board and members of the department management team continued to ignore the law requiring them to properly file financial information with the Utah Public Finance website, even after this failure was raised to their attention. Taxpayers deserve both elected and appointed officials committed to full compliance with the law.” 

The full report may be found on the office’s website, auditor.utah.gov, specifically at https://secure.utah.gov/auditor/osaReports/downloadReport.html?reportId=9821.