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Ventura County Civil Grand Jury tries to clear up confusion

VENTURA COUNTY, Calif. - The Ventura County Civil Grand Jury investigated the financial relationship between the Ventura County Medical Center and the Ventura County General Fund. Specifically, certain cash advances from the General Fund to the Medical Center operating as an enterprise fund.

The Grand Jury also investigated the current status of the outstanding balance of those advances.

The confusion stems from public comments made by Medical Center representatives and Ventura County Auditor-Controller’s Office in August, 2019. Both projected fiscal year financial performance of the Medical Center, but neither party had consulted with each other before the public comments were made.

The Grand Jury found that the County does not have a policy requiring or recommending such consultation and that differing statements led to public confusion.

The Jury Foreperson released a statement that reads in part, The County Board of Supervisors, when discussing the outstanding balance of the advances, consistently refers to them as “loans.” The Grand Jury concluded the description of the outstanding balance of those advances as “loans” did not accurately represent the nature of the advances to an enterprise fund. The main basis for this determination is that there is not an absolute requirement of repayment of these funds. Rather, repayment of any of these funds is expected when available cash is in excess of that needed for operations. The Grand Jury recommends the County Board of Supervisors refrain from referring to these advances as “loans.”

The Grand Jury also recommended the County Board of Supervisors come up with a written policy/procedure.

The Grand Jury also concluded the underlying factor for advances to the Medical Center from the General Fund is the delay in receipt of monies owed to the Medical Center from the State of California. These monies come through certain Medi-Cal incentive pool and waiver programs.

Article Topic Follows: Ventura County

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C.J. Ward

C.J. Ward is the evening anchor for KEYT News Channel 3 and the station’s lead investigative reporter. To learn more about C.J., click here


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