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Arlington School Board Hires Internal Auditor

At the online Arlington Sun Gazette this morning, Scott McCaffrey reports that "Arlington School Board members on April 3 welcomed the school system’s first internal auditor." According to McCaffrey:

"School Board members funded the position as part of an effort to improve financial controls. The Arlington County Civic Federation has called on the County Board to create a similar position on the general-government side, but board members thus far have declined to do so."

We look forward to the Schools staffing-up a strong internal audit function since the new auditor's bio indicates he's started-up two internal audit departments. While the School Board may be spendthrifts -- having the highest cost per student in the region -- they deserve kudos for having the wisdom to hire an experienced internal auditor.

The Commonwealth's Auditor of Public Accounts released a report, dated March 2010, that analyzed the internal audit/inspector general resources in October 2009. The report reviewed the internal audit function at 23 state agencies and 14 institutions of higher education. Page 17 of the report contained a table of agencies actual expenditures. number of positions in the agency, and the staff size of the agency's or institution's internal audit function.

A quick, "back of the napkin" computation suggests that a collaborative internal audit function for Arlington county government and schools, combined, $1.1 billion operations would justify an internal audit staff of perhaps 10 auditors. From what we've read of the candidates campaign literature, only the independent candidate in Tuesday's special election (April 8, 2014), John Vihstadt, supports establishing an independent audit function.

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