By Todd Spitzer, Chairman of the O.C. Board of Supervisors
On Thursday, the Audit Oversight Committee voted unanimously to form a subcommittee to study the future of Orange County’s audit functions. AOC Chairman/Private Sector Member Mark Wille, CPA, was named Chairman of the subcommittee while Private Sector Member Dr. Dave Carlson was named Vice Chairman. Supervisor Todd Spitzer and Auditor-Controller Eric Woolery, CPA, were also named to the subcommittee. Staff support for the subcommittee will be provided by Internal Audit Director Dr. Peter Hughes, CPA, and Deputy County Counsel Ann Fletcher.
“This is a great step forward in the discussion of the County audit functions, where best practices will be recommended to best protect the interests of the people of Orange County,” Supervisor Spitzer said. “The discussion of the County’s audit function was heading down an adversarial road, but this subcommittee represents an opportunity to instead bring all parties together to study this issue.”
After the 1994 Orange County bankruptcy resulting from risky investments in the County Treasury, the Board of Supervisors took the Internal Audit function away from Auditor-Controller Steve Lewis and set up a separate Internal Audit Department instead in 1995. In 2007, Auditor-Controller David Sundstrom regained responsibility of the County Treasury audit for his department, but was unsuccessful in his effort to take back the Internal Audit function.
In the wake of a 2014 state law regarding Orange County’s Internal Audit function and the election of new Auditor-Controller Eric Woolery, there was much discussion about the future status of Orange County’s audit function. At the November 25, 2014, Board of Supervisors meeting, the Board unanimously referred the issue to the Audit Oversight Committee to provide its expertise.
“I thank Auditor-Controller Woolery and Internal Audit Director Hughes for coming together to work with Chair Wille, Dr. Carlson, and me on this vital issue,” Supervisor Spitzer said. “I thank Chair Wille for his leadership, and I look forward to working on this subcommittee to help determine the best options for Orange County.”
Click here for a white paper prepared by new Auditor-Controller Eric Woolery. Click here for a study prepared by former Auditor-Controller Jan Grimes. Click here for a white paper prepared by Internal Audit Director Peter Hughes.