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County Audit Committee Charter Amendment to Appear on the November 3, 2015 Ballot as Issue 9

9/23/2015

Cleveland, OH – Cuyahoga County Council has certified an amendment to the county charter, which will be considered by voters at the November 3, 2015 election.  The proposed charter amendment will appear on the ballot as Issue 9.

Issue 9 will enhance the independence of the Cuyahoga County Audit Committee, which oversees the Department of Internal Auditing and acts as an internal watch-dog over the county’s systems and finances. 

The Audit Committee is currently made up of the County Executive, the County Fiscal Officer, the President of Council, and two residents of the County appointed by the County Executive and confirmed by Council.  The proposed amendment would make the County Executive and Fiscal Officer non-voting, ex officio members, and would provide that two additional residents of the County with experience in the field of auditing, accounting, government operations, or financial reporting be appointed by the County Executive and confirmed by Council.

Issue 9 is intended to remedy a structural conflict of interest identified by both the Auditor of State and the County’s Director of Internal Auditing.  The amendment would also bring the County Audit Committee in line with best practices endorsed by the Association of Local Government Auditors, which recommends that audit committees be “independent of management” and that “inclusion of legislators as well as community members with appropriate qualifications can augment the expertise of the committee, and prevent undue reliance on management.” Source.

The full text of the proposed amendment can be found here, and the Cuyahoga County Charter can be found here.