Those who read my article yesterday entitled,
might have guessed I might have had something to say in public comment.
And I did.
The Finance Committee of the 708 Board consists of Don Larsen (center), Rob Routzahn (left) and Connee Meschini (right) Interim Executive Director Todd Schroll has the laptop computer.
I read the outlined part of the report that I emphasized in the article.
The recommendation memo stressed that a real audit might be embarrassing.
Having spent six years on the Legislative Audit Commission and reviewed hundreds of audits, I told the committee members, if I saw the head of an agency making such a recommendation that I would have demanded the most extensive audit possible.
I told the members that I hoped they would vote for a real audit.
Interim Executive Director Todd Schroll said that the memo was “not a true representation of my intent.”
He said, “It’s all about making sure we’re auditing the right things.”
Schroll pointed out that figures existed not only at the 708 Board, but also in County government.
Former Crystal Lake School District 47 Board member Rob Routzahn explained that he had talked to auditors and “the message I hear is to “ignore the county…to make this an audit of how [we're doing things].”
He said the Request for Proposal should be “really crisp about what we want to accomplish with the audit,” but that the Board should be open to modifications suggested by auditing firms.
Routzahn said the Board needed to “hedge against ‘We don’t know what we don’t know.’”
He was emphatic that the audit should not be an internal audit, but an external audit.
“We don’t want to be seen as steering the audit.”
“I agree with Rob,” subcommittee chairman Don Larsen said.
Schroll pointed out that they would not be auditing “the official numbers.”
“There’s not a fear of something wrong,” he added.
“If you remove the county from the picture, you remove separation of duties,” warned Fiscal Operations Manager Jane Wacker, a CPA.
“It’s one of checks and balances,” former Vice Chairman of the County Board Larsen agreed.
“None of this conversation should be considered as resistance to an audit,” Schroll said. “They’re not coming to do a standard audit. They’re coming to perform a blended audit.”
The third member of the Finance Committee, Connee Meschini then weighed in:
“I like a high audit like Cal said on the Mental Health Board not the County…and be open to what an auditor would say or affirm.”
Routzahn suggested that later, the Board might “want to do a procedural or operational audit, [but] let’s get out arms around the numbers first.”
He pointed out that the District 47 Board met with auditors without administrators in the room, asking other things the auditors had observed that were not in the audit or the management letter.
“They know when they see when there’s something not right.”
Then Routzahn dropped this opinion:
“I do not think we should have a McHenry County [based] auditor.”
“That’s contrary to what we usually do,” Larsen pointed out.
Routzahn said he wanted the audit “so far above reproach, passing the sniff test for the public and me.”
The members voted 3-0 to present their idea at the next 708 Board meeting.