Gloucester City Council has recommended that a management audit of the city’s legal services and human resources be carried out.
The unanimous decision to support the audit came as General Councilors John McCarthy and Melissa Cox and Ward 1 Councilor Scott Memhard – all members of the city’s standing committee on budget and finance – made the request after the city has contracted a good number of outside legal advisers. services in addition to moving a full-time part-time lawyer to complement the human resources department.
“Several departments have already been (audited),” McCarthy said at Tuesday’s board meeting. “There were gaps in one of the departments to cover another department and that is why these two departments are highlighted.”
According to the Gloucester Charter, a full management audit of every municipal agency should be performed at least once every eight years. The purpose of such an audit is to identify all areas that hinder or prevent the agency from fulfilling the responsibilities, goals or objectives assigned to it; provide suggestions for removing these barriers and suggest ways to better meet responsibilities, goals or objectives; assess the adequacy of the agency’s management practices with regard to tax audits and the use of available personnel and equipment; and suggest specific ways and means by which the functions and services of the agency could be improved.
In addition, the charter requires that a department appear before city council if it plans to reorganize itself and that the council hold a public hearing on the plans – which the city did not do in this specific case.
McCarthy noted he underwent audits when he was the city’s police chief and said they can often be constructive and point to things departments are doing well.
“I hope the next city council will continue on this path and follow the charter and review all city services in the same way,” he said.
The first request of city councilors for a management control of these two departments in February was rejected by the administration of the mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken. The mayor said in his written response to councilors that his “administration would be responsible for carrying out an audit of the legal department and the human resources department, or any other department for that matter.”
The charter contradicts the mayor, stating that “(Council) will award all contracts for such audits and, through its Standing Committee on Ordinances and Municipal Administration, will oversee the conduct of all such audits and the implementation of such audits. implementing the recommendations made therein.
Councilor Sean Nolan said on Tuesday that he “doesn’t think we’ll find anything wrong, but it is our duty to be diligent and follow through on the charter.”
Earlier this month, city auditor Kenny Costa told The Times that all city departments are audited annually and the FY2020 report is currently being reviewed by the Government Finance Officers. Association and that the city’s auditor’s office close the books for the 2021 fiscal year, which ended June 30.
“We expect the fiscal year 2021 audit report to be released in December 2021 or early 2022,” Costa wrote to The Times.
Costa was referring to budget audits, which are different from management audits.
Editor-in-Chief Taylor Ann Bradford can be reached at 978-675-2705, [email protected] or on Twitter at TayBradford97.