Menlo Park City Council Email Log

[ Home ] [ City Council ] [ Search ] [ 05/06 Archive ] [ 07/08 Archive ] [ 09/10 Archive ] [ 2011 Archive ] [ 12/13 Archive ] [ Watch City Council Meetings ]

Consent Calendar Topic: Changing External Audit Firms & Considering establishing an Internal Auditor Office

From: domainremoved <Lynne>
Date: Tue, 7 May 2019 09:35:00 -0700

Hello Council,

Changing our external Audit firm is on tonight's consent calendar.
Periodically changing auditors provides a fresh view of agency finances and
it reduces the risk of possible corruption via too cozy relationships
between the auditor and those being audited. California's legal minimum
standards are to change audit firms every six years
<https://www.sco.ca.gov/aud_auditor_rotation_requirements.html>. However,
the Good Governance Checklist: Good and Better Practices
suggests changing External audit firms even more often.

The 2018 Audit report didn't specify MP's internal controls. However, the
auditor raised some questions about our internal controls with the notation
that these were addressed. However, the languge was very general or even
cryptic. I would like to better understand MP's internal financial
controls. Can a bulleted list be included in the 2019 audit report? In case
it's helpful, the ILG short document on the auditing function i
a sidebar on What is an Internal Control? (page 5).

Internal Auditor Office?

Finally, some cities have established the role of an internal auditor
reporting directly to Council. Here's a link to the City of Palo's Internal
Auditor <https://www.cityofpaloalto.org/gov/depts/aud/default.asp>with the
below from their website. Would Council consider establishing such an
office in MP? I think it would be a very good use of taxpayer's money for
several reasons. First, systematic, objective performance audits could
identify ways to achieve better cost efficiencies and/or identify programs
that could be discontinued. I suspect that the office would pay for itself
via finding ways to streamline organizational operations to reduce costs.
An Internal Auditor office would also supply Council with the kind of
information that would help you to oversee the overall MP local government
organization. This is something that I believe voters expect of you, and
that I don't believe is currently possible given our organizational
structure and governing model.

City of Palo Alto: The Office of the City Auditor (OCA) conducts
performance audits and reviews of City departments, programs, and services.
Performance audits provide the City Council, City management, and the
public with independent and objective information regarding the economy,
efficiency, and effectiveness of City programs and activities. The OCA
coordinates the annual citizen survey and issues the annual City of Palo
Alto Service Efforts and Accomplishments report summarizing costs,
workload, and performance results for City services with selected data for
the last five years.

The OCA contracts with an independent certified public accountant for the
City’s annual external financial audit. The OCA also conducts and
coordinates revenue monitoring in areas such as sales and use tax, property
tax, transient occupancy tax and utility user’s tax.

Each fiscal year, the OCA presents an annual audit work plan for City
Council approval. The OCA reports quarterly to the City Council on the
status of audit projects and annually on the status of open audit

The pros and cons of establishing an Internal Auditor Role could be an
agenda topic at an upcoming Finance & Audit Committee meeting.

Lynne Bramlett
Received on Tue May 07 2019 - 09:30:24 PDT

[ Search ] [ By Date ] [ By Message ] [ By Subject ] [ By Author ]

Email communications sent to the City Council are public records. This site is an archive of emails received by the City Council at its city.council_at_(domainremoved)