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Arlington County Board Pressed to Hire Internal Audit Staff

At yesterday evening's meeting of the Arlington County Civic Federation, delegates adopted by a vote of 40-2 with one abstention a resolution saying:

"That the County fund a study by independent advisers for the purpose of establishing an independent County budget review authority that will provide Arlington County residents and taxpayers with reasonable assurance that they taxes and fees are being effectively and efficiently used."

The complete text of the resolution can be found on page 3 of the October 2013 Civic Federation newsletter.

In his article about the Civic Federation resolution, posted today in the online Arlington Sun Gazette, Scott McCaffrey added:

"With the County Board now routinely approving billion-dollar annual budgets, “a little oversight would be useful,” deadpanned Suzanne Sundburg, who in recent months has led a push to demand that the county government establish an independent, internal audit staff.

"Neighboring Fairfax County has such a staff, and the Arlington government’s outside auditor has recommended that the local government establish one, as well.

"Budget cuts in fiscal 2011 “left one remaining auditor for a budget that now totals more than $1 billion,” said Sundburg."

Your friendly scribe was also quoted, saying:

" . . . moving to an internal audit staff would be a step in the right direction. He said that the county school system was “light years ahead” of the county government in embracing the idea of internal controls.

“I’m just tickled pink that the School Board went so far,” he said of recent actions to strengthen auditing in the school system."

At their September 12, 2013 meeting (action item F.1.), the Arlington School Board adopted policy statement 10-4.01, which included forming an Audit Committee and requiring adherence to the audit standards of the U.S. General Accounting Office. The audit policy really puts the School Board light years ahead of the Arlington County Board as ACTA's president told Civic Federation delegates yesterday evening.

Again, kudos to the Arlington School Board. We look forward to the School Board properly staffing the internal audit function and overseeing its proper operation.

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