City of Lincoln
2007 Media Releases
Mayor Chris Beutler will submit an ordinance creating a City Audit Advisory Board to the City Clerk Monday, Sept. 10. The Board would be empowered to contract for internal, financial, operational and performance audits of City government.
"City government must have the trust and faith of its citizens in order to balance the budget, build the roads and set the conditions for job creation," said Beutler. "My proposal for a City Audit Advisory Board assures the public that their tax dollars are being spent wisely and efficiently." The ordinance is expected to be on the Council agenda for its September 24 meeting, and the public hearing is expected to be September 30.
An internal auditor position has been included in the City budget for two years, but the search was hampered by a lack of qualified applicants. Mayor Beutler proposed the alternative of establishing an audit committee under the general direction of the Council. This year's City budget includes $100,000 to conduct audits.
Beutler said Council members were included in developing the ordinance, and he anticipates their continued support. "Council members and I have worked together. We have compromised. Now, we have an ordinance that will serve us all well," Beutler said.
Under the proposed ordinance, the six-member Board would include three Mayoral appointees and three appointed by the Council. At least two must be certified public accountants or internal auditors or have specialized knowledge in the conducting of performance audits. Any action would require four votes. The City Council would recommend audits. The Board would determine if an audit is needed and its scope. The City would then contract with either the State Auditor or a private auditor with expertise in the issue area being examined. The Board would report the audit results to the Mayor and Council within 60 days of the final report.
"We cannot let political considerations dictate our public process," Beutler said. "An independent Board ensures that the City's financial agenda is more important than any political agenda. Performance audits initiated by our Council offer a meaningful look at what City departments do and how they do it. The Council and I share the same goal - creating a City government that operates with greater efficiency and provides better service. I am confident that the Council will pass this ordinance and create an even stronger budget future for Lincoln."