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Press Releases - County Council

Montgomery County Council passes legislation to ensure proactive fiscal oversight of taxpayer dollars

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, October 15, 2019

ROCKVILLE, Md., Oct. 15, 2019—Today the Montgomery County Council unanimously passed Bill 11-19, Administration - Internal Audit - Inspector General – Amendments. This bill requires proactive fiscal oversight through the independent Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of County contracts and agreements and internal financial controls. The Audit Committee sponsored Bill 11-19 and includes Council President Nancy Navarro, Councilmember Andrew Friedson and Council Vice President Sidney Katz.

Bill 11-19 would do the following: require the Office of Internal Audit to prepare an annual work plan for approval of the Chief Administrative Officer and submit the work plan to the Council for comment; require the Office to submit an annual report to the Inspector General (IG); require the IG to conduct a risk analysis of the County’s internal controls and processes, and based on the risk analysis, conduct a systematic rotating group by group review of the internal accounting and contracting processes and controls used by each department and principal office in the Executive Branch; and require the IG to audit high-risk County contracts and agreements.

“Montgomery County taxpayers depend on the Council and the OIG being proactive and diligent with regards to the County’s finances and our contracts,” said Council President Navarro. “Empowering the IG with resources that reflect the size of the County’s budget and that are in line with best practices will ensure that investigative work is being conducted continuously and not only in response to complaints.”

“These additional fiscal oversight requirements will help to ensure that taxpayer dollars expended for contracts and agreements within our various County departments are spent in the best possible way,” said Council Vice President Katz.

“Fiscal oversight – ensuring we are spending taxpayer dollars appropriately, effectively and efficiently – is one of the core responsibilities of the County Council,” Councilmember Friedson said. “I’m so pleased to have worked with Council President Navarro and Council Vice President Katz to craft this legislation that will require a proactive process to help identify and prevent waste, fraud, and abuse of County finances.”

The County has an operating budget of $5.8 billion and capital budget of $4.4 billion, which makes proactively and thoroughly identifying potential sources of fraud, waste or abuse challenging with the current Office of IG budget at roughly $1.2 million. Based on the requirements of Bill 11-19, it is estimated that an additional 19 staffers will be needed over the next four years to perform the duties required by the bill. The IG’s office currently has seven employees. By contrast, in Baltimore City the Department of Audits has 47 employees and their IG’s office has 14 employees and in Washington D.C. the Inspector General’s Office has 112 employees.

 

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Release ID: 19-332
Media Contact: Aaron Kraut (Office of Councilmember Friedson) 240-777-7828 , Bertha Cerzosimo (Office of Council President Nava 240-777-7931