Oct 17, 2016
Denver Auditor Timothy M. O’Brien, CPA, today announced his 2017 Audit Plan. The City Charter requires the annual audit plan to be submitted to the Mayor and City Council by the third Monday in October.
“I’m proud of the steps my office has taken toward complying with the City Charter provision to conduct financial and performance audits. The integrated audits my office now performs deliver relevant recommendations to improve Denver programs and make its expenditures more efficient.”
“We are doing a number of things that haven’t been done before, from tapping private-sector expertise for specialized audits like cybersecurity to getting competitive bids for the independent external audit of Denver’s finances. We’re also establishing entry-level auditor positions to take advantage of the talent coming out of local schools and provide a career path for auditors devoted to public service,” O’Brien continued.
The 2017 Audit Plan includes audits with a direct impact on Denver residents, like enforcement of short-term rental rules and data-driven policing. Other audits evaluate internal City practices, like indirect cost accounting and bond management compliance. The Auditor and his staff meet regularly with elected officials, agency leadership, and community members to gather input so audits target the areas of greatest risk.
“In the coming year, my office will enhance its data analytics capacity to allow the kind of continuous monitoring that best identifies areas of risk. We want to test internal financial controls to ensure the processes are followed correctly, risk is minimized and questionable transactions are detected,” O’Brien stated. “We’re always looking at new ways to provide the public with meaningful information on how their tax dollars are being spent.”
“In 2016, our audits had a measurable impact in improving City operations,” explained Jeffrey Garcia, the Auditor’s Director of Contracts and Accountability. “For example, our audit of Rocky Mountain Human Services, the organization receiving property tax dollars to care for Denver’s developmentally and intellectually disabled, resulted in state legislation providing greater accountability and transparency. Our audit of the Denver Police Department’s community policing resulted in a new policy to collect demographic data in officer-initiated stops.”
In the past 14 months, more than 95% of audit recommendations were agreed to by the relevant agency.