Peter’s Take is a weekly opinion column. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.
Jessica Tucker, the new Independent Auditor, is off to a promising start. She was hired in December 2015 and reports directly to the County Board.
An Audit Committee provides oversight and advice regarding Ms. Tucker’s work. The committee held its first public meeting with Ms. Tucker on March 29.
Ms. Tucker helpfully identified six metrics as informing what should be audited: cost savings; improved service delivery; revenue enhancement; increased efficiency; transparency and accountability; and risk mitigation. At the meeting, the committee applied these metrics to 33 suggestions for possible audits, pp. 7-11.
The 33 audit suggestions reviewed by the Audit Committee included the following:
- Effective and efficient use of park funds
- Site plan conditions: amendment and enforcement; whether developers are providing the community benefits promised to the County
- Jail Medical Services (follow-up review of a previous study conducted by the Criminal Justice Institute in 2006)
- Procurement Process
On March 29, the Audit Committee agreed initially that Ms. Tucker should begin two audits in fiscal 2016. The committee plans to decide upon its final 2017 fiscal year audit plan at its next meeting (tentatively scheduled for July 11). This will allow time for the committee to consider other items on the list of 33 together with suggestions from members of the general public submitted via use of the online “Audit Suggestion Form.”
The first two audits selected on March 29 are those relating to site plan conditions and jail healthcare.
Site Plan Conditions
As noted in a March 4 memorandum submitted by the Planning Commission, site plan conditions reflect the community’s expectations for a particular project. At times, developers subsequently request changes, and not all such requests go back to the Planning Commission or the County Board for review. Some of the changes have greatly altered a project from what was approved originally. The purpose of this audit is to analyze these changes over the years–how many have there been, what types, who actually approved them, and did the changes alter the physical project or the community benefits negotiated compared to the plan the County Board approved?
Despite a series of jail healthcare reforms recommended in the 2006 report, there have been a series of healthcare issues at the jail. For example, a man collapsed and died there in October 2015 . And, a deaf man alleged that the six weeks he spent there amounted to torture because of inadequate procedures to deal with deafness.
The Audit Committee considered asking the Independent Auditor to review the County’s procurement practices given cost overruns and delays with the new homeless services center and several parks projects. Because there has been major procurement staff turnover in the last twelve months, the committee decided that since reforms are already underway, such an audit should be deferred.
The Audit Committee also conducted a lively debate regarding the Independent Auditor’s requested addendum to the County Board’s audit charge regarding free and open access to books and records, facilities and personnel, p. 4. The committee ultimately approved this request in order to send an important signal for the future.
The work of the new Independent Auditor should improve Arlington’s fiscal health.
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Please join us on Saturday, June 3, from 2 to 4 pm for the Glencarlyn Home Tour in Arlington’s historic Glencarlyn neighborhood. Among the featured homes will be a sparkling new home by A&N Builders at 5604-4th St. South. The inviting front porch opens to a light-filled space featuring high ceiling, wood floors, gas fireplace, Pella windows, Shrock cabinets, Quartz countertop, and JennAir appliances. Doors from the family room open to a large covered porch with a few steps to the level, landscaped rear yard. Upstairs, there are four bedrooms, three bathrooms, laundry room, and linen storage. The big lower level has a rec room, gym space, and a fifth bedroom and bathroom plus even more storage. After leaving the home, stroll to the Ball-Sellers home, the oldest residence in Arlington, the community gardens at the library, Carlin Hall, and the 94 acre Glencarlyn Park. A lovely way to while away a late spring afternoon.
Is home ownership a goal of yours in 2023? Now is the time to make it happen! Grab a (virtual) drink with the area’s top Real Estate experts, learn all about the home buying process and on how you can get $1,500 towards your closing costs immediately!
Did you know the average Arlington renter will spend $150K in 5 years of renting? Stop paying down someone else’s mortgage! Join us for a Rent vs. Buy Happy Hour on Wednesday, June 7th at 6 p.m. via Zoom. If this time doesn’t work, we also are offering times convenient for your schedule!
A lot has happened in the local market since the beginning of the pandemic. Sip on your drink of choice and learn from Northern Virginia, Arlington and Washingtonian Magazines top producing agents! We will discuss the latest market updates, the home buying process and rent vs. buy cost savings. Please RSVP by clicking here.
Call/text Manavi at 703-869-6698 with any questions!
Homebuying 101: Steps to Getting Pre-Approved
Are you ready to jump into homeownership or started considering it but don’t know where to start? Financial preparation is key when thinking about purchasing your first home and the first step to getting pre-approved.
Join ACFCU’s mortgage loan officers
4th of July Celebration & Fireworks
Treat yourself this Independence Day with a world-class, private 4th of July extravaganza at the Military Women’s Memorial – a premier National Capital Region site.
Great food, fun, and the best views of Washington DC’s spectacular fireworks display. Relax, enjoy,