The Indiana State Board of Accounts (SBA) released several audit reports
over the course of last week for Porter County detailing activities from
2011 and said the county was not properly using surcharge funds collected
from phones that support the county’s Enhanced 911 fund.
The audit questions why money received from phone companies for landline and
wireless phones charged to consumers were deposited into the same fund – the
Enhanced Access Fund – and not into separate funds as called for in the
The reason for having separate funds, the audit said, is so that specific
disbursements can be from landline fees that are different than those
collected from wireless phones.
“With all money co-mingled into one fund and disbursed from the same fund,
we were unable to determine if disbursements were in compliance with the
appropriate statutes for each fee type,” the SBA said.
From the landline fees, the county may purchase equipment and pay personnel
expenses for example while the wireless funds are to pay for personnel
training and educating consumers about responsible use of the 911 service.
The audit found it questionable that the county was expending funds on
office supplies and lockers for dispatchers which are not designated uses
according to the statute.
Porter County Attorney Betty Knight responded to the SBA saying that the
commissioners are aware of the allowed uses for the money and would have the
issue corrected. The infractions took place under the previous
administration of the E-911 and current communications director John
Jokantas has made the corrections.
Jokantas said when he was hired a year ago, the surcharge funds were
combined by his predecessors and the funds were split when the 2012 budget
was made up.
But on July 1, a new law went into effect that requires all counties to give
the state all the surcharge money and the state now sends the county a check
with the funds co-mingled.
The wireless and landline money can now be used for the same purposes,
Jokantas also mentioned the office supplies were purchased because the
County had nothing in its General Fund budget but this has since been
corrected this year as an E-911 line item has been created within the