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Press Releases - County Council

Navarro, Katz and Friedson Introduce Legislation to Strengthen County’s Fiscal Oversight

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, May 7, 2019

From the Office of Councilmember Andrew Friedson

ROCKVILLE, Md., May 7, 2019 — Council President Nancy Navarro, Vice President Sidney Katz, and District 1 Councilmember Andrew Friedson today introduced legislation to strengthen fiscal oversight by requiring a systematic review of accounting processes and controls used by all County government departments, independent audits of County contracts, and other measures aimed at ensuring Montgomery County is using taxpayer dollars efficiently, effectively, and appropriately.

Bill 11-19, Administration – Internal Audit – Inspector General – Amendments was the result of recommendations developed by President Navarro, Vice President Katz, and Friedson in their roles as the three members of the Council’s Audit Committee.

“Fiscal oversight of taxpayer dollars is a fundamental responsibility of the Montgomery County Council. Strong audit and oversight ensures we’re investing those dollars in an appropriate and effective manner,” said Councilmember Friedson. “I’m excited to be working with Council President Navarro and Council Vice President Katz on these important improvements, which will also help to instill public trust in the process and make government services more efficient.”

“Strengthening fiscal oversight is a key element of the overall goal of maintaining fiscal discipline here in Montgomery County,” said Council President Navarro. “As Council President and Chair of the Audit Committee, I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Audit Committee as we work to ensure taxpayer funds are spent effectively, and that the public is given the best picture possible of how Montgomery County government is working for them.”

“These new requirements will go a long way to strengthen our fiscal oversight,” said Council Vice President Katz. “I appreciate the cooperation of both the Inspector General and the Office of Internal Audit to implement these added controls. These offices, together with the Audit Committee of the County Council and this new legislation are crucial to seeing that the public knows how their dollars are being spent and that the proper controls and oversight are in place.”

This has been a top priority of Audit Committee members since being sworn in on December 3, 2018, culminating in the Audit Committee meeting on March 14, 2019, that led to the introduction of the legislation. Bill 11-19 will:

  • Require the Inspector General conduct a systematic, rotating review of each County department’s internal accounting and contracting processes and controls;
  • Require the Inspector General, in coordination with the Office of Internal Audit, to conduct a risk analysis of the County’s internal controls and processes;
  • Require the Inspector General to conduct an audit of each completed County contract greater than $1 million in the operating budget;
  • Require the Office of Internal Audit to create an annual workplan and submit that workplan to the Council for review and comment on or before each June 1; and
  • Require the Office of Internal Audit to submit an annual report to the Inspector General that details implementation of recommendations on internal audits made by the Inspector General, Office of Internal Audit, and Office of Legislative Oversight.

The public hearing for Bill 11-19 is scheduled for June 11 at 1:30 p.m.

 

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Release ID: 19-157
Media Contact: Cindy Gibson 240-777-7828