Top 20 Items To Stay On Top Of In 2014
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1. Annual Report to the OSWCC – Your SWCD’s required Annual Report of Activities is now fulfilled by reporting all your activities in the Soil and Water Information Management System (SWIMS). SWIMS data should be entered as it occurs including mapping of all completed BMPs/services. Make sure there is a 2013 BMP installed date entered for all BMPs/Services. Also ensure that Initiatives are captured by creating and reporting “Events”. The OSWCC will run annual reports for each SWCD on January 15, 2014. Optional: Please mail printed copies of a SWCD program highlight documents to the OSWCC and the OFSWCD for promotional use.
2. Cash Basis Reports – Cash Basis Reports are due to the State Auditor by March 1. Please also send a copy of the document only via email to Lisa Syx at email@example.com (who replaced Jill Evans) and your Program Specialist. Please send a copy of the document electronically and any supporting documents either electronically or by regular mail to ODNR External Auditor Jim McLaughlin at Jim.Mclaughlin@dnr.state.oh.us. Use the 2012 Cash Basis version; you can find a copy on the “SWCD Forms” page. Contact your Program Specialist for individual Cash Basis help sessions. Also for help, you can view the 2012 Cash Basis Overview training webinar. Find the link near the Cash Basis form on the “SWCD Forms” page.
3. Reorganization – Complete your reorganization forms by February 1. An e-version of the reorganization for can be found using this link REORGANIZATION. SEND a .PDF of the OFFICIAL FORM TO the OSWCC attention Margie Stump at Margie.firstname.lastname@example.org and CC your Program Specialist.
4. Nominating Committee – During your January Board Meeting your board chair should appoint a member of the board to serve on the nominating committee for the 2013 election and determine which two other individuals knowledgeable about the SWCD (who are NOT board members, employees or immediate relatives) will serve as well. Please note these individuals in your January Board Meeting Minutes.
5. Records Retention Commission – This is a good time to review your records retention schedule and set the dates for your SWCD’s Records Retention meetings for 2014. For current guidance, please refer to the October 30, 2012, Statewide District Administrator Webinar recording or review the documents at Ohio Historical Society’s Local Government Records Program website
6. IRS 1099 Reporting – For services or products or cost-share a copy of the 1099 copy B is due to landowner on or by January 31, 2014. 1099s (1099G) are required to be sent out to any one your SWCD paid 600 dollars or more to for cost share - including cover crop and nutrient trading and any one your SWCD paid for conservation easements or CREP in 2013, except corporations. Amounts 600 dollars or more paid to interns or other individuals paid to do work for the SWCD who is not an employee should be issued a 1099 Misc. All District fund payments to SWCD employees, regardless of amount, or taxable benefits, stipends etc also should be reported on the employee W-2. The 1099 “copy A,’ plus the forms1096 are due to IRS on or by February 28, 2014. Order forms at: Order IRS Forms For guidance contact the IRS: Ohio IRS Offices
7. Open Meetings Act – Per the Ohio Open Meeting Act SWCDs need to publish when board meetings will occur in 2014. Remember to include language which gives members of the media and general public the opportunity to be notified of any special meetings or meetings on a particular topic. Keep records of all correspondence that document this notice including the actual newspaper clipping. Also, consider creating an Open Meetings/Public information policy. A Model Open Meeting Policy can be found on the DSWR web site. Don’t forget to send YOUR PROGRAM SPECIALIST an email confirming 2014 board meeting dates/time.
8. Open Records Public Officials Training. All elected officials in the state of Ohio, or appropriate designees, are required to attend training approved by the Attorney General once during their term. The training is to ensure that public officials are appropriately educated about their obligations under the Public Records Act. The act states that a “designee” may be a designee of one elected public official or of all the elected officials if the public office includes more than one elected official. A list of state wide trainings can be found on the Ohio Attorney General website. Ensure that a current copy of all records training certificates are maintained in the district files and affirm at the January board meeting those who have had the training including identifying any designees. There will be official public records training at the 2014 OFSWCD Annual Meeting in March.
9. Oath of Office – Each newly elected, re-elected or appointed Supervisor needs to be sworn in prior to or immediately upon taking office AND prior to participating in any SWCD business. Board members may be sworn in by any other elected official with equal or greater geographic jurisdiction, such as other SWCD board members; Co. Commissioner or State Legislators. Regardless of where they were sworn in, the details of the location and who administered the oath to which board members must be included in minutes. Also, have them complete the following and keep on file: Oath of Office
10. Fiscal Changes/Updates – Secure change in signature cards for new fiscal agents and/or treasurers. Review depository agreements with your bank to ensure they are valid through the current year. Use this form to inform the county Auditor of changes if needed: Certification
11. Fiscal Agent/Treasurer Training/Exemption – Ohio law requires various public financial officials to receive continuing training in the investment and management of public finances. Board members may be required to take annual training depending on the type of financial instruments are used to invest your District Fund. Here is a link to FAQs on the subject: TOS FAQs. Visit Treasurer of State’s website to find the current exemption form.
12. Inventory – Perform an annual inventory review. Contact your Program Specialist if you need additional inventory stickers. Remember to present at a board meeting for board member acknowledgement or approval.
13. Monthly Minutes and Agenda – The OSWCC now requires the SWCD to send Program Specialists copies of all board meeting announcements, agendas, minutes (within 10 working days), and financial statement preferably in digital format via e-mail. SEND THESE ITEMS TO YOUR OFSWCD AREA DIRECTOR TOO!
14. Internal Audits – We would like to have all Internal Audits completed before July 1. Your Program Specialist will contact the SWCD staff to schedule a date.
15. Policy Reviews – Review your last formal fiscal audit and annual internal audit for policies that need to be addressed and items that need to be reviewed by the board for the coming year. Examples include: annual review of employment policy, job descriptions, spending authorities, and MOUs and/or adoption of policies with regard to paying for food at board and other meetings, travel reimbursement rates; open meeting act procedures, public information requests, forestry NOI procedures etc. 2014 IRS mileage rates are not available.
16. Ethics Policy – Once again the DSWR has worked with ODNR to enable SWCD board member and staff to take advantage of online Ethics Training. Access the training here and use code 88000000 to print your personal completion certificate. Remember review your SWCDs ethics policy with your new board members and work through the potential conflict of interest worksheets. Click to download the Model Ethics Policy. If your new board member has not received the mandated copy of the Ohio Ethics Law, (within 15 days of taking office) download it here: Ohio Ethics Law. Also, new employees must be given a copy within 15-days of employment.
17. New Board Member Training/Events – A half-day state-wide New Board Member Training will be held at the OFSWCD Annual Meeting in March. Introductory sessions will be held regionally:
Area 1 – January 9, 2014; 6:00 pm-8:30 pm; DOW Office, Findlay, Ohio
Area 2 – January 11, 2014; 9:00 pm-12:00 pm; Galaxy Restaurant; Wadsworth, Ohio
Area 3 – January 27, 2014; 6:00 pm Guernsey SWCD
Area 4 – January 11, 2014; Singers Restaurant; Brookville, Ohio
Area 5 – December 4, 2013, 6:00 pm; Pickaway Ross Career Center, Chillicothe, Ohio
18. Area Envirothon – Will be held on the following dates with the Host District noted:
Area 1 – April 23, 2014, Defiance SWCD
Area 2 – April 30, 2014; Huron SWCD
Area 3 – May 7, 2014, Coshocton SWCD
Area 4 – April 29, 2014, Madison SWCD
Area 5 – April 29, 2014, Ross SWCD
State Envirothon – June 9-10, 2014; Guernsey County,
19. Roster Updates – Review the OFSWCD Roster and be prepared to submit changes at the beginning of the year when asked to do so in an email request from the OFSWCD.
20. OFSWCD State Wide Meetings –
Annual Meeting: March 3-4, 2014 Renaissance Hotel, Columbus, Ohio
Summer Supervisor School: July 21-22, 2014 Marriott Key Center, Cleveland, Ohio,
Look for registration information at www.ofswcd.org.