The text of a press release regarding the report is after the jump. I haven't read it yet, but I have to believe that in such a report, there will be ideas that that every municipality should consider and possibly heed.
Office of Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: JAN. 4, 2011
Media Contact: Keary McCarthy, (614) 425-9163
Integrity Audit Provides Starting Point for Incoming Inspector General
Findings recommend 23 ways to protect taxpayers, improve county operations
CLEVELAND – Findings from the first phase of an Integrity Audit were released today as a starting point for identifying potential weaknesses in county government and improving operations. The audit outlines 23 recommendations that span a broad range of operational and personnel issues, many of which will be closely reviewed by the incoming inspector general.
“The Integrity Audit provides a good starting point to better protect taxpayers, improve operations and root out bad behavior in county government,” said Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald. “I look forward to working through these findings and sharing this report with the incoming inspector general to address any potential wrongdoing.”
The Integrity Audit is intended to provide a plan for the newly created inspector general and establish a continual process of reviewing county operations, particularly areas such as finance, purchasing, technology and staffing and human resources. The findings were the result of previously submitted audits and other materials, along with interviews of key county personnel.
“Our efforts to identify and prevent unethical behavior must be vigilant and ongoing,” said FitzGerald. “This report will not only aid the operational overhaul of county government that is already underway, it will also provide a strong foundation for the incoming inspector general to get started right away.”
The Integrity Audit was completed on Dec. 31, 2010, but the report was reviewed before releasing to ensure that all contents of the report could be released without potentially impacting a criminal investigation. Every element of the report is being released today. The full report can be viewed online at: http://executive.cuyahogacounty.us/en-US/reports-publications.aspx.
The audit includes 23 “Focus Points” for consideration, which address issues intended to safeguard county assets, improve county operations and save tax dollars. The findings are summarized as follows:
- Requiring direct deposit for all county employees to save on printing costs;
- Ensure that terminated employees do not have access to county systems;
- Implement an audit committee and create an internal audit department;
- Improved reporting requirements for Title XIX funds;
- Tighten standards for use of employee sick leave;
- Utilize the Buyspeed system for all purchases;
- Establish new standards for negotiating outside legal services;
- Move oversight of cash drawer and petty cash account to new Internal Audit Department;
- Raise cut-off amounts for office vouchers;
- Move the responsibility of renting county facilities to Facilities Director;
- Reduce number of meetings and meeting sites for the informal process of real estate appraisal adjustments;
- Consider bringing the grant management process and trustee function of the grant funds under the County Development Department;
- Create formal process for review and intake of request for funds;
- Centralize RFQ process under purchasing;
- Improve oversight and enforcement of SBE compliance;
- Review and define responsibilities of Clerk of Boards;
- Consider cross-training employees in Recorders and Treasures office;
- Review staffing for Employment and Family Services personnel in view of the ERIP;
- Coordinate activities of investigative staff and audit unit in EFS;
- Continue SBE oversight emphasis in Engineer’s Office;
- Review and consider recommendation in CBIZ risk and advisory service report;
- Institute and employ Code of Ethics policy; and
- Review staffing levels at CCISC and CRIS.